Chomiji (chomiji) wrote in fandom_grammar,

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Answer: “Fit” versus “Fitted”

todeskun asked us, "When do you use 'fit' versus 'fitted'? As in, 'it fit him to a T' or 'it fitted him to a T'?"

It turns out that which one you use depends on which side of the Atlantic you live. Let's take a closer look.

The verb "fit" is usually conjugated (that is, put into various tenses such as present or simple past) differently in Britain than it is in the United States and Canada. U.S. usage is fit in the past tense:

"Holy Eyestrain, Batman!" said Robin, aggrieved. "I couldn't stop staring at her 'cause that suit fit like a glove!"

British usage, on the other hand, is "fitted":

"I'm afraid Master Grayson needs new clothing for the reception," said Alfred, apologetically. "Perhaps the grey suit fitted last spring, but now it's rather tight across the shoulders."

There's also the issue of transitive use, as opposed to intransitive use. In both examples above, the verb fit (regardless of form) has no object: it both cases, the suit is doing the fitting, and it's not doing it to anything else, so the verb is intransitive. But fit can also be a transitive verb:

"Robin, no matter how small you fold it, you won't be able to fit the rubber raft into the Batmobile's trunk," said Batman, calmly.

In this type of use, fitted is the correct past tense in both forms of English:

"Is that a tranquilizer dart?" asked Robin, watching as Batman fitted the small bolt into the miniature crossbow.

Therefore, to answer todeskun's question: It fit him to a T would be correct if the speaker were from the United States, like Robin, but It fitted him to a T would be correct if the speaker were from England, like Alfred the butler.


Tags: !answer, author:chomiji, language:english dialects, pos:verbs, usage:non-american, word choice:subtleties

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