Past Tense Of Set: Setted or Set? (Pronunciation & Usage)

By Benjamin Essek

Is Set A Verb? What Is The Past Tense Of Set?

The past tense for set is set. Set is an irregular verb, so its V2 form will not follow the -ed rule. The verb set also has other conjugated forms, such as “sets” in the third person singular and “setting” in the present participle form.

The past participle of set is set, the same as set in past tense and present simple tense. However, the V3 form of set needs to be followed by auxiliary verbs (as has, have, had). You can look at the table below to get more set verb forms.

Simple Present He/She/It sets

I/You/We/They set

Present Continuous He/She/It is setting

I am setting

You/We/They are setting

Present Perfect He/She/It has set

I/You/We/They have set

Present Perfect Continuous He/She/It has been setting

I/You/We/They have been setting

Simple Past He/She/It/I/You/We/They set
Past Continuous I/He/She/It was setting

You/We/They were setting

Past Perfect He/She/It/I/You/We/They had set
Past Perfect Continuous He/She/It/I/You/We/They had been setting
Simple Future He/She/It/I/You/We/They will/shall set
Future Continuous He/She/It/I/You/We/They will/shall be setting
Future Perfect He/She/It/I/You/We/They will/shall have set
Future Perfect Continuous He/She/It/I/You/We/They will/shall have been setting

How to pronounce set as naturally and correctly as English native speakers? You can watch this video: 


Because the V1, V2, and V3 form of the verb set is also set, they have the same pronunciation, which is /set/. You can see the table below.

Form of word



set /set/



/set/ /set/
set /set/


Definitions And How To Use Set?

How many meanings does the verb set have in all? According to Oxford Dictionary, the English verb set has the following meanings:

  • To prepare/arrange/adjust something so that it is ready to work or be used in a position

Example: Have you set the alarm clock for tomorrow morning? There’s an important meeting tomorrow, and you can’t be late.

  • To put something in a particular place or position.

Example: Our tent is set right in the middle of the pine forest. We often go camping in autumn to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere before winter.

  • To fix/make something certain so that others copy it or try to achieve it.

Example: I heard this brand sets a very high standard of customer service. So you can rest assured about their service and products.

  • To give somebody a piece of work to do or a task or a particular target to do

Example: The manager sets a difficult task for her. What’s more, she had to finish in a short time. Now she is rushing to make a plan.

  • To place the action of a play, novel, or film in a particular place and time.

Example: The novel, especially the 58th episodes, was set in England in the 1970s and became a craze with detective novel lovers then. Its author also became famous after her work.

  • To cause somebody/something to be in a particular state, to start something happening.

Example: I saw many demonstrations set two cars on fire to start their violent rally as the public opinion was rejected. Police and fire brigade arrived to take control of the situation, but such protests continued.

  •  To go down below the horizon.

Example: We often sit on the beach together and watch the sun setting. I wish that moment lasted forever.

  • To put a precious stone into a piece of jewelry

Example: She discovered a sapphire set in a gold ring the day her husband proposed. Even now, she rarely wears it outside because it’s too precious.

  • To become solid or hard.

Example: You need to leave the concrete to set until tomorrow morning, then continue building.

  • (To set one’s jaw) to show one’s determination through the manner of one’s lower facial expression

Example: Tom set his jaw and stared at the officer who had tormented him for so long. He was eventually demoted.

  • To put a broken bone into a fixed position to get better in this way.

Example: The surgeon set her broken arm as soon as she was taken to the hospital. In addition, she was treated by nurses for foot injuries.

  • To write music to go with words.

Example: Albert set many poems to music from when he was 20 years old. His talent became widely known after the two poems were set to music and became famous worldwide at the beginning of the 21st century.

Set past tense has the same meanings as the base form, and it is used to talk about things that happened in the past, before the time of speaking. You can check out the examples below for more details.


  • I set the jelly by leaving it in for 2 hours in the fridge. Around 9 o’clock you can take it out and enjoy it. Cut it up enough for you to eat, and then put it back in the fridge.
  • I set my alarm because I didn’t want to be late for Mr. Elbert’s class tomorrow morning. He’s known for being strict and won’t let anyone in if they’re late.
  • The school that set high standards for students last year has been heavily criticized. This year they changed the standard system so students can adapt it.


Choose the correct verb tense to fill in the (a), (b), and (c):

  1. Sophie (a) her film in 2001, coinciding with the year her daughter turned 18. The film won two prestigious awards at the Best American Film Awards of the year.

A. set

B. setting

C. has set

(The correct answer: A)

2. I (b) myself to meet all the deadlines this weekend but failed. I was sick and took 5 days to get well. Luckily I finished a few tasks ahead of time so I didn’t miss any deadlines.

A. setting

B. set

C. has set

(The correct answer: B)

3. Yesterday when the sun (c), me and my family members had a perfect dinner in this forest. The chilly evenings and delicious flavors of the dishes were my best experience this winter.

A. set

B. setting

C. have set

(The correct answer: A)


What Are Synonyms And Antonyms Of Set?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the synonyms of set are:

Sit, lay, choose, pick, select, name, designate, establish, specify, appoint, arrange, announce, assign, determine, adopt, fix, coordinate, estimate, value, assess, rate, evaluate, appraise, aim, decide, complete, choose, figure, resolve, plan, settle, finalize, design, and fix.

The antonyms of set are: call, drop, recall, revoke, rescind, repeal, curve, deflect, avert, divert, stand, rise, arise, get up, loose, loosen, pull, extract, and unfasten.

Is Set An Intransitive Or Transitive Verb?

The verb set is both intransitive and transitive. When it is an intransitive verb, it means to go down below the horizon or to become solid or hard. The remaining meanings belong to the transitive verb set.