The Cambridge Dictionary says that fit means "to be the right size or shape for someone or something", and gives an example:

That jacket fits you perfectly.

Since fit is used as a transitive verb in this example, should I consider this to mean that jacket makes you the right size?

Thank you all for your replies.

I've been trying to figure out why I'm confused, and I think it probably stems from the fact that the dictionary definition of "fit" is more like an adjective, and yet it is used as a verb. Moreover, it is used as a transitive verb, without a preposition, and the action subject is not clear. As a non-native speaker, it seems like a pretty special word to me.

Who should we consider the action subject to be in the first place?

  • 1
    It means That jacket is the right size For you.
    – Sam
    May 28, 2023 at 6:23
  • If so, why not write "That jacket fits for you" or "fits to you"? Why only "That jacket fits you"? May 28, 2023 at 14:31
  • Bcoz there is already for in the definition.
    – Sam
    May 28, 2023 at 14:44
  • Why is "for" included in the definition of "fit" when used in this sense? Since "fit" is also used as an intransitive verb, it doesn't seem bad to write "fit for you". May 28, 2023 at 15:17
  • How can a jacket make someone the right size? Where do you see causation in the original sentence or the definition you quoted?
    – gotube
    May 28, 2023 at 22:51

2 Answers 2


In, "It fits you," fit is a verb* that indicates the item fits well on the person, not that it makes the person the right size.

However, in similar examples, below, the effect is on the subject:

  • The dress beautifies her.
  • That suit ages him.
  • The new engine speeds the car.

It happens that fit is transitive in English (takes a direct object).

This is the kind of thing that varies between languages, and between words in a language, in an unpredictable way.

In English we listen to something and we wait for something, but in French we écouter something or attendre something (with a direct object).

Furthermore, in Welsh we gwrando ar ("listen on") something and in Irish we eisteacht le ("listen with") something. And in English, though we listen to something, we look at something (not look to it, which has a different meaning).

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