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Set means to “put in a certain place.” It is normally followed by a direct object, that is, it acts upon something else. It is transitive.

Sit means “to be seated.” It is always intransitive.

Incorrect: Set down on this chair.

Correct: Sit down on this chair.

Incorrect: Sit the money on the counter.

Correct: Set the money on the counter.

Set or sit plus a reflexive pronoun–“Set yourself down” or “Sit yourself down”–is nonstandard.

Set does not always take a direct object; for example, we speak of a hen or the sun setting.

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