Fit or suit?

Today I’m going to discuss the words “to fit” and “to suit” and how they are different.

Let’s say you and your friend are shopping. You’re buying a dress for the summer. You find something you like and bring it to the fitting room. You put it on and your friend asks you: How does it fit? It’s not too big, not too small. So you can say, “It fits me perfectly!”

Then you ask your friend: How do I look? Your friend says “It really suits you. The color looks great on you.”

As you can see in this example, “to fit” is about size whereas “to suit” refers to style, color or maybe shape. If a shirt or a pair of shoes fits you, it means it is the right size for you. If a dress or a pair of pants, a hairstyle, an accessory suits you, it means it looks good on you.

Now, why don’t you try a quiz? I’ll give you three options. Choose the one in which “to fit” or “to suit” is used most appropriately. Ready?

(1) These pants fit me perfectly. But I don’t look good in Khaki.
(2) These pants fit me perfectly. But they are just a little too tight.
(3) These pants don’t suit me. They are too small.

▼ クイズの答えと日本語訳

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  1. Takako Masuyama said:

    fit and suit のニュアンスの違い分かりやすかったです。ありがとうございます。
    What day will suit you? という言い方を聞いたことがあるのですが suitには似合うという広義の使い方もするのでしょうか?

    2022年1月20日
    Reply
    • junko said:

      お役に立ててうれしいです。
      What day will suit you? の suit は「都合が”合う”」という意味ですね。
      相手にとって一番都合の良い日を訊ねるときに、
      What day would suit you best? と訊きます。

      2022年1月20日
      Reply

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