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Phrasal Verb - 'set off'

Help on English vocab, including idioms, slang and sayings

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Phrasal Verb - 'set off'

Postby sdluk » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:56 am

What does the phrase 'set off' means? Can you create a sentence with it?

For example - "I've heard a news that some terrorist set off a bomb in the city center. Is it true?"
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Re: Phrasal Verb - 'set off'

Postby TheStephen » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:49 pm

It has three main uses:

1. To denote a violent reaction of some sort, e.g. setting off a bomb, setting off a chemical reaction, setting someone off (making someone angry).

2. To show something as different, e.g. "His scar made set him off (or apart) from the rest of the group."

3. To say a journey has begun, e.g. "We've set off to Italy."
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Re: Phrasal Verb - 'set off'

Postby JCloninger » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:39 pm

In this context, "set off" means "to trigger (a reaction)", in this case, to trigger the bomb to explode.
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