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set 1

present participle setting past tense & past participle set

transitive verb

  • 1 (put, place) he set a pitcher of cider before us
    nos puso una jarra de sidra delante
    we set the proposal before the committee
    le presentamos or planteamos la propuesta a la comisión
    she set a match to the papers
    prendió fuego a los papeles con un fósforo or (Spain) una cerilla or (Mexico) un cerillo
    he set his signature to the document
    le estampó su firma al documento
    I set honesty above all other virtues
    antepongo la honestidad a todas las demás virtudes
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Teddy suddenly stood, setting his coffee cup onto the tray as Christopher and Sara looked to him.
    • She stood up after setting her tea cup down on a coaster and walked to the coffee table.
    • Then she stood to set the dish with its few remaining crumbs back on the tray.
  • 2 2.1 (cause to be, become) to set somebody free
    poner en libertad or liberar a alguien
    to set somebody loose
    soltar a alguien
    to set somebody at ease
    hacer que alguien se sienta a gusto
    to set fire to something, to set something on fire
    prenderle fuego a algo
    to set a poem to music
    ponerle música a un poema
    2.2 (make solid, rigid)
    hacer fraguar
    his face was grimly set
    tenía una expresión adusta or ceñuda
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • It tastes fine but I over boiled it and it has set almost rock solid.
    • Oh, and if you want a new building material, try having cereal and yogurt, because all the fluid goes into the cereal and the rest of the yogurt sets solid.
    • Once set, you hardened them in the airing cupboard and painted them with the stuff that was supplied.
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • When he glanced back at the corner, jaw setting, she laid her hand on his arm.
    • Following my faint shadow across the tan carpet and up to my feet then leisurely climbing to my face until our eyes meet, the enemy noticeably tenses and her jaw sets.
    • His jaw sets and he doesn't respond, and I know he knows that was a mean thing for him to say, but I also know he isn't going to apologise.
    2.3 (make fast)
  • 3 3.1 (prepare)
    set three places for dinner
    pon cubiertos para tres para la cena
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Let your child help with meals by choosing foods, preparing food and setting the table.
    • He opened the door for her and ushered her outside where a wrought iron table was set for a meal.
    • I should have asked if he thinks setting a proper table takes no talent!
    3.2 (Medicine)
    (bone/dislocated joint)
    componer (Latin America)
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Charlie read how to set a broken leg and wilted at the thought of doing that to Jo.
    • This was operated on but there was a problem setting the bone and when it failed to heal properly, he had to have it done again.
    • The surgeon breaks the displaced bone and sets it into a better position.
    3.4 (Printing)
  • 4 (adjust) I set the oven at the highest temperature
    puse el horno a la temperatura más alta
    I set my watch by the radio
    puse el reloj en hora por la radio
    I forgot to set the alarm clock
    me olvidé de poner el despertador
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • You could set your clock or watch with Pat as he drove his herd in our out of the parlour to pasture morning and evening.
    • Adelaide is the principal city of the state of South Australia (where one sets one's watch back half an hour when crossing the border).
    • Simply put, if you see the dawn, your biological clock sets itself to morning.
  • 5 5.1 (arrange, agree on)
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • The meeting will take place towards the end of the month although at the time of going to press no firm date has been set.
    • To prevent an administrative nightmare, no single date has been set for the changeover.
    • No date has been set for the introduction of the rule change which is being recommended by council advisors.
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Clearly it is important therefore for you to liaise with your client to ensure the Credit Limit is set at a realistic level.
    • This will execute or abandon the trade automatically within price and time limits set by the user.
    • The difference is that the government sets a lower limit to the movement of wages and also mandates working conditions and other benefits that are the same for everyone.
    5.2 (impose, prescribe)
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • She sets herself ‘tasks’, and likes to do them in the morning before going to work.
    • None of the tasks these men set themselves could be described as easy.
    • His players, those he inherited and those he has acquired, have passed every character test they have been set.
    5.3 (allot)
    5.4 (establish)
    you have to set a good example
    tienes que dar buen ejemplo
    this ruling sets a precedent
    este dictamen sienta jurisprudencia or sienta un precedente jurídico
    this set the tone for the rest of the day
    esto marcó las pautas que se seguirían el resto del día
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • I felt it would benefit me personally in all future games to set an example and not set such a dangerous precedent.
    • It would set a precedent the whole of football would have to follow.
    • Resourcefulness is their trait and she says the example her father has set is a constant influence.
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • In June another record will be set when five car carriers dock here - the most ever for any one month.
    • He is a special player and setting a World Cup record is a marvellous achievement.
    • He won by a convincing eight shots and also set a new scoring record for his age division.
    5.5 (fix, assign)
    it's impossible to set a value on life
    es imposible ponerle precio a la vida
    we set a very high value on accuracy
    valoramos mucho or damos mucha importancia a la precisión
  • 6 (cause to do, start) she set them to work in the garden
    los puso a trabajar en el jardín
    he set the dogs after them
    azuzó a los perros para que los persiguieran
    to set somebody/something -ingthis will set people thinking/talking
    esto hará reflexionar/dará que hablar a la gente
    the news set my pulse racing
    la noticia hizo que se me disparara el pulso
    to set somebody laughing
    hacer reír a alguien
    to set something going
    poner algo en marcha
  • 7 (usually passive) 7.1
    the novel is set in Japan
    la novela está ambientada en el Japón
    the action is set in Victorian England
    la acción se desarrolla or tiene lugar en la Inglaterra victoriana
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • But he sets the film's first act here, and it's obvious where his sympathies lie.
    • The seventeenth century Oxford where the crime writer sets his substantial historical novel is in some ways very similar to Morson's city.
    • By setting the film at this time and place, he illustrated that Sade's fantasies had in fact become a horrifying reality.
    7.2 (locate)
    the mansion is set amid acres of parkland
    la mansión está situada or enclavada en medio de un vasto parque
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Santa Barbara is set among rolling hills and vineyards that were beautifully captured in the film Sideways.
    • The holiday village is about four miles from Penrith and set among more than 400 acres of woodland and lakes.
    • The tasteful and triangular green is set bang in the middle of the large village.
  • 8 (mount, insert)
    the posts are set in concrete
    los postes están puestos en hormigón
    the crown is set with rubies
    la corona tiene incrustaciones de rubíes
    his eyes are set deep in his face/too close together
    tiene los ojos hundidos/demasiado juntos
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • The diamonds have been set close to each other to give them a solitaire look.
    • She kept the original, which was set into a tiepin for my father in law.
  • 9 (turn, direct) we set our course for the nearest island
    pusimos rumbo a la isla más cercana
    our course is set eastward
    llevamos rumbo al este
  • 10 (Botany)
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Simply cut the heads in July and August before the flower sets seeds.
    • Before it sets seeds, Mike digs every last bit of the plant from the soil, then lays it in the sun for a couple of days.
    • Where flowers had formerly held forth with a cheerful kaleidoscope of petals, plants were now busily setting seeds.
  • 11
    present participle setting past tense & past participle setted
    (British) (School)
    (dividir en grupos según su aptitud para la asignatura)

intransitive verb

  • 1 (go down)
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • I sat in the soccer field gazing up at the sky as the sun was setting and a new moon was rising.
    • The sun was setting over the horizon, and the skies were stained with faint pinks and lavenders and blues.
    • Slowly she began to draw a wolf on a cliff looking down on the land below with the sun setting.
  • 3 (in dancing) set to your partners
    colóquense enfrente de su pareja
  • 4 (in hunting)
  • 5 (Botany)
    dar fruto
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Fertilize during the growing season, but to avoid excessive vegetative growth and fewer blooms, do not overapply nitrogen after the first fruit sets.
    • He applies a third of each plant's yearly allotment before spring growth starts and the rest after fruit sets.
    • Alex rang in with problem tomatoes - he had good flowers but the fruit is not setting.

Verbos con partícula

set about

verb + preposition + object
1 (begin, tackle) I spent a long time deciding how to set about the task
me llevó mucho tiempo decidir cómo acometer la tarea
we set about cleaning the room
nos pusimos a limpiar la habitación
how does one set about applying for the job?
¿qué hay que hacer para solicitar el trabajo?
2 (attack) they set about him with sticks
empezaron a darle or a golpearlo con palos

set against

verb + object + preposition + object
1 (cause to quarrel)
poner en contra de
enemistar con
to set father against son
poner al padre en contra del hijo
enemistar al padre con el hijo
2 (balance, compare) the advantages must be set against the disadvantages
hay que contraponer or sopesar los pros y los contras
set against other estimates, your company's offer …
comparada con otros presupuestos, la oferta de su compañía …
these costs can be set against your total income (for tax reasons)
estos gastos pueden deducirse de sus ingresos
estos gastos desgravan

set apart

verb + object + adverb
(make different)
hacer distinto or diferente
what sets this novel apart is …
lo que distingue a esta novela es …
lo que hace a esta novela distinta or diferente es …
her extraordinary talent sets her apart from the other children
su extraordinario talento la hace distinta or diferente de los otros niños

set aside

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1 (save, reserve)
2 (put to one side, shelve)
dejar (de lado)
boil for five minutes and set aside
dejar hervir durante cinco minutos y apartar or poner a un lado
3 (disregard)
dejar de lado
prescindir de

set back

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (delay)
this has set the project back several months
esto ha retrasado el proyecto varios meses
1.2 (place at a distance) (usually passive) the house is set well back from the road
la casa está bastante apartada or retirada de la carretera
2verb + object + adverb (cost) [colloquial]the trip set her back £100
el viaje le costó or le salió (por) 100 libras

set by

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object

set down

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (put down)
(emphatically) depositar
he set me down near my house
me dejó cerca de casa
1.3 (record in writing) she set down her experiences in her autobiography
escribió or relató sus experiencias en su autobiografía
all the facts you need are set down in this book
todos los datos que necesitas están en este libro
1.4 (prescribe)
1.5 (assess) I've already set him down as work-shy
ya lo tengo clasificado or catalogado como perezoso
1.6 (attribute)to set something down to something
atribuir(le) or achacar(le) algo a algo
I set his rudeness down to nerves
(le) atribuyo or (le) achaco su grosería a los nervios
2verb + adverb 2.1 (land) 2.2 (drop off passengers) (British) this train stops to set down only
este tren para solo para que se bajen los pasajeros
este tren para solo para que se apeen los pasajeros [formal]

set forth

1verb + adverb (depart) [literary]
partir [literary]
2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object (outline, present) [formal]
the details are set forth in this document
los detalles están expuestos or se exponen en este documento

set in

1verb + adverb (gain hold)
if rust/decay sets in
una vez que empieza a oxidarse/deteriorarse
after the operation complications set in
después de la operación surgieron complicaciones
at last a thaw seems to be setting in
parece que por fin empieza el deshielo
2verb + adverb + object, verb + object + adverb (in sewing)

set off

1verb + adverb (begin journey) when do you set off on your trip?
¿cuándo sales or te vas de viaje?
I set off for France
salí para Francia
2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 2.1 (activate)
hacer explotar or estallar
hacer sonar
2.2 (start)
dar lugar a
every time she looked at him, it set her off again
cada vez que lo miraba, empezaba otra vez
the photographs set us off reminiscing
las fotos nos hicieron empezar a rememorar
you'll set her off on one of her stories
le estás dando pie para que se ponga a contar uno de sus cuentos
2.3 (enhance)
hacer resaltar
darle realce a
the painting was set off by the dark background
el fondo oscuro hacía resaltar el cuadro
el fondo oscuro le daba realce al cuadro
2.4 (offset)to set something off against something
deducir algo de algo
these expenses can be set off against income (for tax reasons)
estos gastos se pueden deducir de los ingresos
estos gastos son desgravables
2.5 (separate off)to set something off (from something)
separar algo (de algo)

set on

1verb + preposition + object (attack) he was set on by thieves
fue atacado por ladrones
2verb + object + preposition + objectwe set the dogs on him
le echamos or le lanzamos los perros
she set a private detective on him
contrató a un detective privado para que lo siguiera

set out

1verb + adverb 1.1set off 1 1.2 (begin, intend) I didn't set out with that intention
no empecé con esa intención
to set out to + infinitiveI didn't set out to offend him
no era mi intención ofenderlo
no quería ofenderlo
she had failed in what she had set out to achieve
no había logrado lo que se había propuesto
2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 2.1 (expound)
2.2 (display, arrange)
(chess pieces)
the children's work was set out on the tables
el trabajo de los niños estaba expuesto or dispuesto sobre las mesas
2.3 (plant)
plantar a la intemperie

set to

1verb + adverb 1.1 (begin) we set to with a will
empezamos or nos pusimos a trabajar con ganas
1.2 (begin fighting) they set to with their fists
se empezaron a dar puñetazos
2verb + preposition + objectto set to work
ponerse a trabajar

set up

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (erect, assemble)
they set up (their) camp near the river
acamparon cerca del río
1.2 (arrange, plan)
convocar a
llamar a
have we got anything set up for next week?
¿tenemos algo previsto or planeado para la semana que viene?
we hope to set up a deal with them
esperamos llegar a un trato or acuerdo con ellos
1.3 (institute, found)
he set up his own business
montó su propio negocio
1.4 (establish)
1.5 (establish) he set her up in an apartment
le puso un departamento or (Spain) un piso
she set herself up as a photographer
se estableció como fotógrafa
he set his son up as a farmer
le compró una granja a su hijo
she's now set up for life
ahora tiene todos los problemas resueltos
ahora tiene el porvenir asegurado
se paró para toda la vida (Río de la Plata) [colloquial]
1.6 [colloquial] (frame)
tenderle una trampa a
1.7 [colloquial] (rig) the fight was set up
la pelea estaba arreglada
1.8 [colloquial] (provide drinks) set them up, Jack!
¡sírvenos, Jack!
2verb + object + adverb 2.1 (invigorate, restore health of) 2.2to set somebody/oneself up as something (invest with power)
erigir a alguien/erigirse en algo
they set him up as their leader
lo erigieron en caudillo
(represent as, claim to be) she's been set up as something remarkable
la han pintado como algo fuera de serie
what right have you to set yourself up as our judge?
¿qué derecho tienes a erigirte en nuestro juez?
3verb + adverb + object 3.1 (raise)
the crowd set up a commotion
la muchedumbre armó un alboroto
3.2 (cause)
4verb + adverb 4.1 (establish in business)to set up as something
establecerse como algo
4.2 (claim to be) you shouldn't set up to be something you're not
no deberías dártelas de lo que no eres [colloquial]

set upon

set on 1
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set 2

Inglés americano: /sɛt/
Inglés británico: /sɛt/


  • 1 countable 1.1 (of tools, golf clubs, bowls, pens, keys)
    (of books, records) colección (feminine)
    (of stamps) serie (feminine)
    a set of cutlery
    un juego de cubiertos
    una cubertería
    a set of saucepans
    una batería de cocina
    a set of bedroom furniture
    un juego de dormitorio
    a matching set of sheets and pillowcases
    un juego de cama
    set of dentures
    una dentadura postiza
    a set of headphones
    unos auricolares or (Latin America also) audífonos
    a boxed presentation set
    un juego en estuche para obsequio
    I need four more to make up the set
    me faltan cuatro para completar el juego ( or la colección etc. )
    coffee/tea set
    juego de café/té
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Some of the toys are considered highly collectable and a full set of toys from the range is highly prized.
    • Of the last six Christmasses I've spent at home I've collected a full set of the presents I wanted.
    • Riders would be booked by phone and arrive with a spare set of protective clothes and crash helmet.
    1.2 (Mathematics)
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • His work on ordered sets and ordinal numbers is fundamental to the subject.
    • This is an example of what is known as a fractal set since its dimension is not a whole number.
    • For finite sets, the cardinal numbers are the whole numbers.
  • 2 countable (+ singular or plural verb) 2.1 (group, clique) she was never at ease with their set
    nunca se sintió cómoda en su círculo or en ese ambiente
    he goes around with an odd set
    anda con un grupo de gente rara
    the county set (British)
    la aristocracia menor de provincias
    2.2 (British) (School)
    (grupo de estudiantes seleccionados de acuerdo a sus aptitudes)
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • But his board of management and the school's patron body said that both sets of pupils should be taught religion together.
    • The government's own research has shattered one of the central planks of his educational philosophy - that the way to raise standards in schools is by putting more pupils in sets.
    • He said the marking on some papers was ‘scrappy’ and the inconsistent results made it more difficult to place pupils in appropriate sets for next term.
  • 4 countable (in tennis, squash) he won in straight sets
    ganó sin perder or sin conceder ningún set
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • He can climb all over an opponent, and he can fling a game and a set and match away in moment of sheer lunacy.
    • Winning it back in the fifth game of that set went some way towards helping him to firm up his play.
    • He found trouble in the third only because of a loose service game to open the set.
  • 5 countable (performance) (Music)
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • That also didn't go over so well, as they left after a short set of, let's say, five or so songs.
    • The relatively short set of seven songs makes for a remarkable performance.
    • There's at least half a dozen anthems in their set, which with a live drummer could be difficult to contain.
  • 6 countable (in square dancing)
    (disposición de las parejas y serie de figuras de la danza)
  • 9 uncountable 9.1 (posture, angle) the set of her shoulders
    su postura
    the set of his cap
    la manera en que lleva puesta la gorra
    the set of the sails (Nautical)
    la posición de las velas
    to make a dead set at somebody/somethinghe's making a dead set at the presidency
    se ha propuesto obtener la presidencia
    she made a dead set at David
    trató de conquistarse a David
    trató de ligarse a David [colloquial]
    9.2 (fit) the set of the collar is wrong
    el cuello está mal colocado or no asienta bien
    9.3 (of wind, current)
  • 10 countable (cutting, young plant)
    (plantas tiernas usadas como simiente)
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set 3


  • 1 (established, prescribed)
    meals are at set times
    las comidas son a determinadas horas
    there are no set times for visiting
    no hay horas de visita establecidas
    there isn't a set procedure for doing it
    no hay un procedimiento establecido para hacerlo
    his mornings usually follow a set pattern
    tiene una rutina establecida para las mañanas
    one of the set books (School, University)
    una de las obras prescritas
    una de las obras del programa
    we ordered the set menu/lunch (British)
    pedimos el menú del día or el menú a precio fijo
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • I've been doing the set work hours thing ever since my first job, but would so much like not to have to.
    • It only works as a punishment, with no-one receiving extra pay if they work later than their set hours.
    • It won't be a case of ticking the boxes, as it is at the moment, and fulfilling a set number of hours of broadcasting.
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Every student on a given course simply has to have at least one set book, and probably several.
    • A psychiatrist told me he was making the book a set text for his students.
    • I am inspired to read the book which passed me by as a set text at school.
  • 2 (predicative) 2.1 (ready, prepared) to be set
    estar listo
    estar pronto (Río de la Plata)
    is everything set for the meeting?
    ¿está todo preparado or listo or (Río de la Plata) pronto para la reunión?
    we're all set for action
    estamos listos para la batalla
    all set (to go)?
    2.2 (likely, about to)to be set to + infinitive
    llevar camino de + infinitive
    the problem seems set to deepen
    el problema lleva camino de recrudecer or agravarse
    2.3 (determined, resolute) she seems set for a comeback
    parece estar decidida or resuelta a hacer su reaparición
    he was all set to walk out
    estaba totalmente decidido or resuelto a irse
    she's absolutely set on that bicycle
    está empeñada en que tiene que ser esa bicicleta
    he's dead set on going to college
    está resuelto or decidido a ir a la universidad sea como sea
  • 3 3.1 (rigid, inflexible)
    falto de espontaneidad
    to be set in one's ways
    tener costumbres muy arraigadas
    estar muy acostumbrado a hacer las cosas de determinada manera
    a man of very set opinions
    un hombre inflexible en sus opiniones
    he is firmly set against innovation
    se opone totalmente a toda innovación
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • I don't come in with a lot of set ideas about how the actors will move or what the staging is.
    • We need a set idea of core values and principles that are not up for discussion.
    • Everyone, from the chief executive down, had become trapped in a set pattern of behaviour.
    Oraciones de ejemplo
    • Matt was now quickly walking over to her and Johnny with a set expression on his face.
    3.2 (solid)
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