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I'm right, aren't I? Sat vs sitting

(22 Posts)
apostropheuse Sat 05-Jan-13 10:56:17

I sat on the chair
I was sitting on the chair
He/she sat me down on the chair

Gooseysgirl Sat 05-Jan-13 09:39:00

I know this is an old thread but on CBBs this morning in the 'news' the presenter said the snowman 'was stood' instead of 'was standing' twice, what chance have the next generation got.... Aarrgghh!!!!

throckenholt Sat 11-Aug-12 13:09:05

Yeah - you are probably right - it was a continuous action that has finished, rather than and instantaneous one.

Acumens100 Sat 11-Aug-12 13:08:09

Dialect variation.

bigkidsdidit Sat 11-Aug-12 13:06:38

I think that's sitting too Throckenholf

Zhaghzhagh Sat 11-Aug-12 12:59:55

(to throkenholt)

Zhaghzhagh Sat 11-Aug-12 12:59:42


throckenholt Fri 10-Aug-12 08:45:51

I was thinking about this the other day.

A sentence like - There I was, sat in front of the TV when, ..... is right isn't it ?

Maybe that kind of sentence has been (wrongly) shortened to I was sat in front .... and become common parlance.

witchwithallthetrimmings Wed 08-Aug-12 14:41:53

the past participle of the verb "to sit" is "sat". The phrase "i was sat" - to mean i was seated is thus perfectly correct but it is not synonmous (sorry for spelling mistake) with i was sitting. It is in the passive voice though hence it may jar with people.

lottiegb Wed 08-Aug-12 10:48:45

Different verb I mean, to be clear, not form of sit.

lottiegb Wed 08-Aug-12 10:47:34

I sat is past perfect, I was sitting past imperfect, I sit present.

Seated is a different form but I find that part of the problem with 'I was sat' is that it sits between seated and sit!

In that sentence you could say Alex sat or was seated but not that he was sat, even by his father.

Partypartyrings Wed 08-Aug-12 10:39:02

Although seated is a different word altogetger & not a form of sat, so ignore that.

Partypartyrings Wed 08-Aug-12 10:33:08

Different tense forms surely, lottie ?

Sat is present tense & seated is past tense?

lottiegb Wed 08-Aug-12 10:30:21

But 'Alex was seated at the table by his father'. So the subject is never 'sat'.

Partypartyrings Wed 08-Aug-12 10:28:18

witch to be 'sat', I think, requires a subject and an object- a sitter and a sittee.

If you are glued to the Olympics all weekend, you are still simply sitting on the couch, as the Olympics have not actively commanded you to sit.

AFAIK 'sat' is only correct in a sentence like:

"Alex's father sat him at the table and outlined the budget for the next financial year."

lottiegb Wed 08-Aug-12 10:19:17

'I was sat' is never right, it is wrong. 'I sat ' or 'I was sitting'.

'I was sat' is from a particular colloquial form (so could be considered fine in that context - I always think 'I were sat on t' mat, like' in a Yorkshire accent but may have that wrong). For some reason it has been picked up more widely, first as a common misuse, now as an increasingly accepted norm.

To me it sounds very passive, a variation on 'I was seated' (by someone else), so does cause confusion, as that is not what is meant.

witchwithallthetrimmings Wed 08-Aug-12 10:00:17

I think they are both right but mean slighly different things.
"I was sat on the chair when the giant came in" implies that you sat down as the ogre entered the room
"I was sitting on the chair..." implies that you had sat down a significant period before

"I was sat on the sofa all weekend" implies that some external force (the olympics) pushed you down whereas "I was sitting on the sofa all day" implies it was your own choice

JarethTheGoblinKing Wed 08-Aug-12 09:55:02

Hmmm noticed yesterday that on same smile they've changed the words of one of the songs "3 little pandas sitting in a row", rather than sat as it was before

I'm SO fucking rock and roll

AKissIsNotAContract Wed 08-Aug-12 09:53:15

Yes you are correct. This annoys me so much.

JennerOSity Wed 08-Aug-12 09:52:25


Partypartyrings Wed 08-Aug-12 09:51:27

Furthermore, you may use 'sat' to describe the bottom-related action that is brought upon somebody else.

Eg "he sat me down at the table..."


Partypartyrings Wed 08-Aug-12 09:47:43

I hear or read this almost every day and I'm beginning to doubt if I'm the one who has it the right way around.

"I was sat..."



All descriptions of previous sitting-related activity must be in the past tense.

That feels better.

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