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Could you tell me what is the difference between match, suit and fit. I know their usage for clothes (color,size e.t.c.), but I'm wondering about other cases. For example: When your skills don't (match/suit/fit) the vacancy or when I want to take back something to the shop because it doesn't (match/suit/fit). Thank you!

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I've been thinking about this, particularly in the example of a job vacancy - it's quite an interesting question. I think there are subtle differences between them, but it's just a matter of emphasis:

  • match emphasises how your skills compare to a list of skills required; so, I'm a good match for this vacancy because I can do X, Y and Z
  • fit emphasises how you'd fill a gap in the organisation; so, I'm a good fit for this vacancy because I can provide the skills you are short of
  • suit emphasises personal preference; so, this vacancy suits me because I enjoy doing X.

Like I say though, it's an interesting question - and that's just my perspective on how the words are used in practice. Others might disagree.

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For when these meanings are close (they have other meanings which are very different):

  • 'fit' means the clothes are the right measurements for you (not too long or short). That is 'This jacket fits you well' or 'This bolt fits this nut'.
  • 'suit' means it looks good on you or goes with your general style (probably means it fits too). That is, 'This dress really suits you'.
  • 'match' means two pieces of clothing go well together. For example, 'the pink of the shoes matches the highlights in the collar of the shirt'.

A dictionary will show the many other meanings (eg match in a game of tennis, suit as in a jacket and pants, fit as in healthy).

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You can also use 'befit' : http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/befit

That was the word I was looking for today

  • Hi SylvainPV and welcome to ELU! This is a good answer, but please consider adding the definition from the sourced website to your answer rather than just providing a link. – Dog Lover Jun 11 '15 at 22:07

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