Here are some more common expressions using the verb ‘to set’ combined with particles:
‘to set something off’ means to cause it to start or happen.
* The smoke from my cooking set the smoke alarm off.
* The proposals for a new shopping centre have set off a very heated debate in the town.
‘to set someone off’ means to start them laughing, crying or talking.
* Every time Jake used that silly voice, it started me off laughing.
* Kelly started crying and that set everybody off too.
‘to set on’ means to begin a physical attack.
* If I went into the garden, she said she would set the dog on me.
* Coming out of the pub, he was set on by a gang of boys and his money stolen.
‘to set out’ is to start on a journey.
* We wanted to get there before lunch so we had to set out just before dawn.
* They packed their bags and set out early as they had a long walk.
‘to set out’ to do something means that you have a clear idea of what you intend to achieve.
* We didn’t achieve what we’d set out to do.
* He didn’t set out to invent the microwave oven. He discovered it while doing other research.
‘to set out’ facts or opinions is to explain them clearly in writing or in speech.
* All the terms and conditions are set out in this document.
* Your terms of employment are set out in your contract.
‘to set something out’ is to organize it so that it is ready to use.
* When I arrived all the materials and equipment were set out ready for use.
* The chairs were set out in a circle ready for the class to begin.
‘to set up’ means to start a company or organization.
* After a few years developing the products, they needed to set up a company to sell them.
* The UN was set up when representatives of fifty countries signed the charter in 1945.
‘to set up’ also means to make arrangements for a meeting, a committee, or an investigation.
* I’d like to discuss that in more detail. Can we set up a meeting with everyone concerned?
* The government has set up a committee to investigate possible fraud.
‘to set up’ a structure or building means to erect it.
* It took almost an hour to set up the tent in the rain.
* The Police set up road blocks throughout the county to try to find the thieves.