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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Bullock

10 Phrasal Verbs With Set: Better English Speaking

What do "set up" and "set aside" have in common? They are phrasal verbs with set! Today we'll practice 10 of them to improve our vocabulary!


Phrasal verbs with set

Here are 10 phrasal verbs with set. Read them all out. If you are unsure of any of the words, I would suggest looking up their meanings in an English-English dictionary. One I use is Oxford Learner's Dictionaries.


phrasal verbs with set
Set about: to begin doing something with a purpose in mind

  1. Set about - This means to start doing something. Usually when you have a particular goal in mind. We set about doing something.

  2. Set aside - This means that we save or reserve something, often to be used at a later time. For instance, we might set aside some money for the summer holidays.

  3. Set back - This phrasal verb means to delay or to move something backward. Often projects or plans get set back.

  4. Set down - If we write or record something in order to remember or communicate it, then we have set it down. A common word used with this is "rules". For instance, the rules we set down.

  5. Set forth - This is to state something in detail. It is quite formal. Also, it means to start a journey.

  6. Set off - This expression means to cause something to begin (like fireworks). Also, it can mean to start a journey.

  7. Set out - This means that we begin with a particular aim. It does not necessarily mean we finally accomplished the aim, but just that we initially intended to do something.

  8. Set up - This one means to establish or start something, such as a business or a system. It can also mean to arrange something (appointment, meeting, etc.)

  9. Set upon - This means to attack or to accost someone suddenly. It's often used to describe crimes or animal attacks!

  10. Settle down - This very common phrase means to become quiet, calm, or stable. It also means to establish a home or family life.



Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences using today's phrasal verbs with set. I would suggest reading them all out loud as many times as you can, so that you get comfortable with the sentence structures, and the words!


  1. Jennifer found her mother’s recipe book, and then set about baking some cookies from it.

  2. Martin sets aside a little bit of his pay every month. He’s aiming to go traveling for a whole year.

  3. They’re building a new library in the city center. However, the heavy snow and strong winds have set them back by a few weeks.

  4. I attended a meeting where the company owners set down their new policies.

  5. Before you set forth on your journey across Africa, you really should make sure you have all the visas ready.

  6. He set off some fireworks in his back garden.

  7. In order to climb Mount Fuji, you need to set out very early in the morning.

  8. I have a new PC, but I’m a little bit unsure of how to set it up!

  9. The lion was set upon by a large group of hyenas!

  10. Would you rather settle down in a large city, or out in the countryside?


Phrasal verb questions: phrasal verbs with set

Here are some questions with today's phrases. Try to answer them using full sentences!


  1. If you were to set about planning and building a new house, which part of it would you start with? The garden, the rooms, the exterior?

  2. Do you like to set money aside each month?

  3. Was there a time in your life when your plans were set back for some reason?

  4. Did your mother or father set down many rules for you when you were a child?

  5. Have you ever set forth on a long journey? Where did you go?

  6. Have you ever set fireworks off in your garden? Is that allowed where you live?

  7. What would you like to set out to achieve this year?

  8. Have you ever had trouble setting up a computer or similar electronic device?

  9. Have you ever watched a documentary where an animal was set upon by other animals?

  10. What is a good age at which to settle down at?


Phrasal verbs with set: Use them in your everyday conversations!

Next time you are going to leave on a trip and would like to describe it formally, you can use the expression set forth. If you are going to do fireworks sometime, you can use the saying set off. And if you want your son or daughter to calm down or live in one place, you can use the phrase settle down. I hope you have seen through these 10 phrasal verbs with set that they are flexible, and can be used in both everyday conversations and more formal ones, too!


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