sit set

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sit set

Post by ebyss on Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:41 am

I understand the definitions of the two words. People sit (rest) and objects set (placed). My question is how is it written when an object is already place. Such as a building.

The buildings set on top of the hill. Or The buildings sit on top of the hill.

Thanks

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Re: sit set

Post by Garmar on Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:27 pm

It depends...do you wanna place the buildings there (set), or are they already there (sit).

Sit and Lie - Intransitive verbs (cannot take objects.)
Set and Lay - Transitive verbs (usually takes objects.)

The buildings sit on top of the hill. "Sit" has no direct object in this sentence
The buildings set on top of the hill. "Set" is transitive and requires an object to act upon. Since there is no object in this sentence for the verb to act upon it's incorrect.

For "set" to be used, you will phrase it like this.

*We will set the buildings on top of the hill. "Buildings" is the direct object of "set".

*
If you have a really big crane. biggrin

ebyss wrote:I understand the definitions of the two words. People sit (rest) and objects set (placed).
These definitions aren't entirely correct. It's not only people that "sit". This word encompasses anything that is at rest.

And not only objects are "set" somewhere. It means anything that is placed somewhere or acted upon. Like the phrase "Set the record straight."

By using the type of object as the determining factor is what used to confuse me about the differences.

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Re: sit set

Post by Guest on Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:57 pm

Perfectly described, Gary. English once had a bewildering number of these verb groups. Similar idea for both verbs, but one being transitive and the other being intransitive. All of this harks back to when English was an inflected language and word order was a bit looser. Now that English is an isolating language, word order is very rigid because each word only caries so much information, so its order in a given clause carries part of the data as to who is doing what to whom. Languages which are inflected have much looser word order since each word carries with it the information needed to know who is the subject, who is the object, indirect object, and so on.

Yeah... I'm a big dork. rolleyes

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Re: sit set

Post by Garmar on Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:24 pm

Here's a short article about the sit/set rule. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-sit-vs-set.aspx

The best part of the article is when she describes the meaning of transitive verbs (set) as transferring action to an object. Placing something somewhere.

Thus In transitive (sit) means the verb is not transferring action to an object, just describing what the object is doing - sitting there.

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