Sit vs. Set

I had a request for “sit vs. set,” and to be honest, I’ve never thought about the two words before. I thought everyone knew the difference but apparently not, so here I am, helping you out. 😀 I can’t think of anything fun for an introduction, so let’s get right to the material.


Sit is an intransitive verb, meaning it does not need an object. I can tell a dog “Sit down” and it is a complete sentence. As such, when you say it–hopefully–the dog will plop its little booty down. You don’t need to say “I sit my butt on the floor” (in which case, “butt” would be the object). The definition of “sit” basically means that–put your butt down. The object is built in the definition. Kind of a crude definition, but definitely the most simple. 😀


Set, on the other hand, is a transitive verb, meaning it needs an object. “I set the plate down.” “I” is the subject, “set” is the verb, and “plate” is the object that you are enacting upon. “Set” always needs an object. The object is not built into the word as it is with “sit.” An additional note: “Set” is an irregular verb form, and as such, “set” is both the present and past tenses.

Final Thoughts

The important thing to remember with these two words is that “set” always needs an object. You cannot just “set down,” you need to “set SOMETHING down.” As long as you can remember that, you should be good to go! Good luck! 😀

Posted in Grammar Quick Fix.