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Hi. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam. Today's lesson is about the word "set".
Now, this word has many meanings and uses, and I was asked to make a lesson about this. And
I know that it's in the dictionary, you can look it up, but sometimes it's easier to just
hear the lesson, hear the explanations of the words, get some examples of how they're
used, and you absorb it a little bit differently this way. So, we're going to look at the different
meanings of "set". Now, "set" can be a verb, it can be a noun, it can be an adjective.
Okay? So, we're going to look at these. And again, these are the more common uses. There
are a few others that I didn't include; you can look those up if you need them.
So, first: "to set". Now, the thing you have to remember about "set", this is called an
ambitransitive verb. You don't need to know that word "ambitransitive", but it means it
can be a transitive or an intransitive, meaning it can take an object or not take an object.
Okay? So, we can set something, we can place it somewhere, we can put it down. Right? So,
if I'm going to... If I have a vase-a vase/vase, however you want to pronounce it; both are
okay-full of flowers, I want to set it on the table. Okay? So, I can set it down on
the table. Set the vase, the vase being the object. And you can... I can set the ladder,
or I can set the picture over there against the wall. So, I can put it in a place or a position.
Sometimes it's actually used to mean "to sit".
Okay? So, please set... Set the baby or set
the child in the chair. It doesn't mean, like, plop it there, it means make the child sit
in the chair. It's essentially the same idea, except we use the verb "set", rather than
the verb "to sit". You can't say: "Please sit the child."
You can say: "Seat the child in the chair", it means put him in the seat.
Or, you could say: "Set the child in the chair",
put him there. Okay? So, that's one common use of it.
"Establish". Now, here I have "establish" and "build", they're essentially the same
idea, but you build something physical-okay?-and you establish something not necessarily physical,
more of an idea or a concept. So if I establish something, if I set up a fund... We often
use it with the preposition "up", which makes it a phrasal verb: "Set up a fund" means establish.
Set up a school, establish a school, or found a school, or begin a school. So, this is a
very common use of the word "set", to establish something, to set it up, to begin it, to start
it, etc. You can also set up something physical. For example, I'm going to be giving a performance,
I want a little stage, so I set up the stage; I get it ready, I get it built, every... All
the lights, everything's in place, and then I give my presentation, performance, whatever.
If you have... If you're going to a conference or a convention for your company, you want
to... You have a little booth where you're going to present your information, you can
set up your exhibit, for example. Oops, sorry about that.
So, "set up your exhibit" means
you're building it, but you're also preparing it at the same time. It's the same idea.
You can also "set" means to apply something to something. So, if you "set fire to the building"
means you're applying fire, you're putting the fire to the building - the building
goes up in flames. Okay? So, you can set, apply, or you can focus.
You can "set your mind on something". And again, you notice that I'm using
"set fire to", "set your mind on".
A lot of the times, "set" is used as a phrasal verb, it's used with prepositions
and they have the different meanings. So you're kind of... You're kind of getting a double
lesson, here; you're getting phrasals and you're getting just the general word "set"
as a verb. So, "set fire to", "set off the alarm" means you... There's smoke, it applied...
You apply the source, the trigger to the alarm, the alarm goes off.
You "set your mind on something".
"Set" can also mean sink or decline. For example, the sun sets in the west every day, or every
evening I should say. So, "set" means sink, go down. But you can also use it just to generally
refer to a decline, to going down. Now, you can actually mix the two.
You can say: "The American Empire is setting." This is not as common,
but you can say that. It means it's in decline; it's getting lower and lower. But you can also say:
"The sun is setting on the American Empire." This is just an example. I'm not making any political statements, here,
just so we understand. "Sun is setting on something" means it's in decline, it's weakening
and losing power.
Something becomes thick or hard, so for example, if you're building a building and you have
concrete... So, this is a good example. I hope everybody knows what concrete is, it's
that grey stuff that you build buildings with. Once you place the concrete in its place and
everything's smooth and level, then you have to wait maybe a day or maybe 36 hours for
the concrete to set. "To set" means it becomes thick and hard, and doesn't move and stays
in place. If you try to step on it too quickly, your foot will sink in. Okay? So, you have
to let it set, and then you can build on top of it. You can also just think of something
becoming hard.
Here's a good word for you...
Riga-... Sorry. "Rigamortis".
So, when a body, when a person
dies, their body's still warm and soft and whatever, after a little while after all the
heat starts to go away, rigamortis sets in. And again, we're using a preposition.
"Set in" means it takes hold. Okay? So, here, we're talking about take hold. And it's becoming
hard, it's losing all its softness and heat, but something... This takes hold. It becomes
permanent, it becomes... Well, becomes set. It becomes part of the thing. So, the concrete
sets or becomes thick and hard, and it also takes hold of whatever it's being poured on.
So, you pour the concrete on a little area, it sets, and it sets, takes hold of the thing.
Becomes permanent. Once the effect of something sets on the place, that's the new idea. So,
a new manager comes to the company, he brings with him or with her a new corporate culture.
Okay? He or she likes to do things very differently. At the beginning, everybody hates it, everybody's
fighting against it, everybody's rebelling. But eventually, the new habits set in. Again,
we're using the "in", it sets in, it becomes permanent. It takes hold of the people, it
takes hold of the place. It becomes the new normal. Okay?
So, these are the most common verbs using "set". Now, we can also use "set" as a noun.
So, for example, I like to play golf. Actually, I'm not very good at it, but I like to play,
and I have a golf set. This is my bag with all the clubs in it, and it's a complete set.
So, it's a collection or series of things. Now, I also like Lego, and I like Star Wars,
and I have the complete Star Wars Lego set. So, this is basically a series. It's a collection
of pieces that make up one whole group of something. Usually something, like, in a series,
it has one, two, three, it has all the pieces - together, it makes the complete set.
Sometimes we talk about a group of people as a set. "The intellectual set" means this
is that group of people that are considered the intellectuals. The wealthy set.
Another good expression:
"the jetsetters". "The jetsetters" are generally the people who fly around in
jets all over the world because they're rich, and they create the trends. They're spending
the money, they decide what is popular, what is not popular, what is trendy, what is fashionable.
They're the jetsetters. They go to... They want to have dinner, a French dinner, they
fly to Paris, have dinner, fly back home to New York or wherever they are. Jetsetters.
Now, adjectives. Have you ever watched the Olympics or any race for that matter? And
they... At the beginning, everybody lines up and they say: "Ready", so everybody comes
to the line. "Set", and they get into their position. "Go". Right? So, "set" means get
into position. I didn't actually put that. But in essence, it means ready. Ready to do
something. Right? Okay, and you can say: -"Are you ready?"
-"All set." This is another very good expression.
"All set" means I'm ready. I'm ready to do whatever needs to be done.
So you're going to do a test. Everybody sits on their tables, everybody takes out their
pencils and pens, papers, and the teacher says: -"Okay, everybody ready?"
-"Yeah. All set." -"Go. Start your test."
Now, you can also use "all set" to mean satisfied.
-"Can I get you anything else? Do you need a coffee? Do you need a drink?" -"No. I'm all set."
It means: "I'm good. I have everything I need. I'm satisfied. Thank you very much."
It also means that... Again, we're still looking at adjectives, here. It also means standard
or common. So, for example, "a set expression". Sometimes people ask me:
"Oh, why do people say this or that in English?" And I say:
"Well, there's no real reason to." Like: "Why do people say 'all set'?" Well, it's just a set expression.
It doesn't have any particular
meaning. That's just what people say, and they always say it the same way. Okay? Like
people say: "To kill a bird with one stone", this is an idiom. So, why those particular
words? Well, it's just a set idiom, it's a set expression. It's already been decided,
it's become common in use - that's how it stays.
Unmoving. Now...
I hope you can see that. "To be set in one's ways".
If something is set, means it's not moving, it's not budging, it's not going to change. So, if I am set
in my ways, means I have my beliefs, I have my values, you're not going to change me.
I'm very stubborn. Okay? That's a synonym to "set in one's ways". Unmoving, you can't
convince it, you can't persuade it to do something different.
And, lastly: fixed or something is fixed or decided on already. So, for example, the annual
conference is on a set date and time every year. Every year, it's on December 3rd in
the evening. It's set. Excuse me. It's fixed. It's not going to be changing. So, it's a
little bit different from unmoving. "Unmoving" means you can be convinced or persuaded; whereas
"fixed" means it's decided, it's not going to change, it's always going to be the same.
Okay? You can also... You can have a set schedule, you can have a set itinerary. It means it's
been decided, it's been planned, no more changing it. Okay? And, again, we're using it as an
adjective to talk about something else.
So, there are the many meanings of the word "set". I know it's a little bit of a confusing word.
We have a lot of words like this in English, but you'll get to them one at a time,
slowly but surely.
If you need to practice these words, go to www.engvid.com.
There's a quiz there. You can also ask me questions; I'll be very happy to help you out.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel, and come back again soon. Bye.
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Learn "Set" Vocabulary, Idioms, and Phrasal Verbs!

581 Folder Collection
Chris published on June 27, 2016
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