The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Gretchen Keefer.
Which do you do?
Set, set, set: This verb is so busy placing objects in various locations, it has no time to alter its tenses.
“Set” wants something to do. There is always a “what” after “set” such as set the table, set your hair, set goals.
After setting her purse on the table, Joan read the mail.
Have you set a date with that cute guy yet?
Set down the knife and raise your hands.
Sit, sat, sat, not standing. Actually, not doing anything. There is no “what” after sit, just a rest from working. No motion, nothing is going anywhere or doing anything. There could be another verb in “-ing” form, and you may use adjectives to describe the length, location, or style of the sit, but no objects follow “sit.”
Gary did not sit long on Janice’s couch. He preferred sitting in the recliner. While sitting there, he fell asleep. Janice sat thinking about Gary. How often has he sat on her recliner sleeping? He never would set a wedding date. Obviously this relationship is going nowhere–