fit (someone) in (to a schedule)

Is this phrase useful for scheduling meetings and appointments. When you're talking to someone with a busy schedule, you may have to ask them to "fit you in". "Fitting you in" means fitting you into their schedule. You can imagine a schedule book with each meeting or appointment taking up a block of time. If the person has enough room to add your appointment between two other appointments, then you say that they could "fit you in".

I guess it's an idiom, but it doesn't seem as though this is the best way to ask for someone to "pencil you in."

  • "To pencil in" and "to fit in" are different: To pencil [someone or something] in = to make a provisional appointment - the idea behind this is that writing that is done with a pencil can be easily erased, and thus the time of the appointment can be easily changed. To fit [someone or something] in, implies a request or offer that is between two other appointments, etc. This use is a figurative use of "to fit" = to place something accurately and/or within the space/volume between other objects: e.g. "Do these shoes fit your foot?" or. "You can fit that piece of the jigsaw in here." – Greybeard Jun 30 '20 at 10:02
  • "I'll see if I can fit you into my schedule" sounds more impersonal, dismissive, than "I'll see if I can fit you in". "Have you any free time tomorrow?" or "Have you a gap in your diary tomorrow?" are perhaps better hedged requests. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 30 '20 at 11:27

The phrase is ok to use.

You could use:

I can schedule you for (Date/Time) or

We can schedule a meeting for (Date/Time)

to be more formal.


A more idiomatic way (and more appropriate/self-evident in case of a busy schedule) is to use squeeze instead of fit.

Can you squeeze me into your schedule?


squeeze into
1. To manage to make room or time for someone or something in some tight space or schedule by or as if by exerting pressure:
The dentist can squeeze you into her schedule next week.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Isn't 'squeeze into' more informal? – Ram Pillai Mar 2 '20 at 9:40

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