English is an interesting language. We can make it more interesting and rich by suing some expressions in our spoken and written language. It adds vibrancy to our thought and expression. By using such expressions in our daily communications we stand at par with others.

Dear friends, let’s have a look at some of the beautiful expressions using the word ‘set’ along with their usage in various contexts.

Here you are:


  1. Set aside – to separate and reserve something for a specific purpose.

Niharika sets a portion of her salary aside for donation, which she usually spends on Shivratri (Festival).

  • Set back: to delay or obstruct.

Jagan expected it would set them back by a day or so, but everything went cool and they returned back on the expected day.

  • Set forth – to start, to begin a journey, to state, to describe.

Columbus set forth with three small ships.

  • Set free – to release, set loose, turn loose

The stranger set the birds free with the little money he had.

  • Set in stone – permanent, certain, firm.

The decision won’t be set in stone until we release the document.

  • Set off – to leave, to begin a journey or a trip.

He sets off in search of better opportunities.

  • Set on / Set upon – to attack, to achieve, to be determined.

The crowd set on an agitation.

  • Set one’s cap a – to choose a man as a potential husband, to choose something as a goal.

Sumathi sets her cap at Gireesh.

  • Set one’s hair on fire – to behave crazily, to become widely impassionate, freak out, and lose it.

Nihanth sets his hair on fire for JEE.

  1. Set one’s teeth on edge –to irritate, or strike as unpleasant.

I can’t understand his squeaky voice, it always sets my teeth on edge.

  1. Set out – to go out, leave.

Tomorrow we are setting out for America.

  1. Set piece – any carefully planned sequence of operations, especially as a part of military operation; an interesting scene in a movie or video game, usually the most important and visually iconic scene in the work.

The climax of that movie is a set piece, where audience lost themselves from this world.

  1. Set sail – to depart on a voyage by boat.

We set sail for Andaman.

  1. Set straight – to correct; to make right or true.

I would like to set straight some misconceptions about the recent events.

  1. Set the record straight – to correct a previous error or misunderstanding, especially one in print.
  2. The News paper published corrigendum to set the record straight.
  3. The CEO of the News paper hired a murderer to prove that the News that reported the death of the leader was true in order to set the record straight.
  1. Set the Thames on fire – to achieve something amazing, to do something which brings great public acclaim.

Son of the rickshaw puller cracking civil services sets the Thames on fire.

  1. Set to work – to begin working.

As soon as he got home, he went to his desk and set to work.

  1. Set up – to ready something for use.

We set up the sprinkler.

  1. Set up one’s bristles – to react in a defensive and bad-tempered manner.

Geetha set’s up her bristles quite frequently to prove herself right.

  • Set to music – to adapt a literary work by adding music.

The student has set the skit to music to make it more lively.

Teacher’s Note:

Dear students, to set Thames on fire instead of setting up our bristles, it is always advised to set your hair on fire in the field of your interest.

( This work is a contribution from Smt Suneela Jyotsna, M.A., M.Ed., NET)

( This work is a contribution of Smt Suneela Jyotsna, M.A.,M.Ed., NET)

Photo by Pixabay on

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