The word ‘sit‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to support one’s weight by one’s bottom or be in a particular state.

For example:

  • Sit down and start listening. (support one’s weight)
  • Harry is sitting on a goldmine with his classic car collection. (in a particular state)


Sit is an irregular verb. The past tense is sat and the past participle is sat.

phrasal verbs with sit

Phrasal verbs with ‘sit’ include:

  • sit about/around
    meaning – sit and do nothing
    example – The teacher was late, so we sat about for the first 20 minutes.
  • sit back
    meaning – relax in a chair or wait for something to happen
    example – Sit back, close your eyes and imagine you are on a secluded beach.
  • sit by    
    meaning – make no effort to help
    example – I can’t sit by and watch you destroy your life. I’ve arranged for you to go to rehab.
  • sit down
    meaning – sit on a surface
    example – All the children sat down and waited for further instructions.
  • sit for   
    meaning – pose/wait or look after someone’s children/animals
    example – The Royal family sat for hours while their new portrait was painted.
  • sit in   
    meaning – wait inside
    example – The weather has been awful, so we sat in and watched films all day.
  • sit in for  
    meaning – take someone’s work/responsibility whist they are away
    example – I’ve got to sit in for Julie while she is in Italy.
  • sit on   
    meaning – hold back information or sit on a surface
    example – The government knew the country was in debt, they were sitting on the information for months.
  • sit out  
    meaning – not participate
    example – I’ll sit out the first round so I can see how to play the game.
  • sit through 
    meaning – endure something boring
    example – I’ve sat through all of his meetings, but I refuse to go again.
  • sit up   
    meaning – move from a lying to a sitting position or suddenly take notice
    example – The employees sat up and started listening when they heard about the takeover.
  • sit with
    meaning – stay with someone or agree with
    example – Can you sit with the kids for 10 minutes whilst I go to the shop for some milk?

picture examples

phrasal verbs with sit

Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘sit’ in more detail and see some examples in use.

phrasal verbs with sit - sit about/around
phrasal verbs with sit - sit back
phrasal verbs with sit - sit by
phrasal verbs with sit - sit down
phrasal verbs with sit - sit for
phrasal verbs with sit - sit in for
phrasal verbs with sit - sit in meaning
phrasal verbs with sit - sit on meaning
phrasal verbs with sit - sit out
phrasal verbs with sit - sit through
phrasal verbs with sit - sit up
phrasal verbs with sit - sit with

You can download a table of phrasal verbs with sit below.

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