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Consider these sentences, please:

  1. He writes beautifully, as befits a poet.

  2. She was buried in the cathedral, as befits someone of her position.

  3. As befits a Quaker, he was a humane man.

These are sentences taken from different dictionaries. As we can see, all of them use the phrase "as befits."

Q: As it is clear from the above examples that the verb "befit" in the phrase "as befit(s)" does not have a visible semantic subject. So, Is it always "as befits", using the singular form of the verb, or do we use "as befit", using the plural form, in some contexts?

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    ' ... as is fitting for [such a person]' not ' ... as are fitting for'. Commented Mar 13, 2021 at 13:44

2 Answers 2

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Befit means be appropriate for. There is an unspoken subject, it, which is always singular.

It befits a poet to write beautifully.

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A little reconstruction may reveal what is going on:

Beautiful writing befits a poet

Cathedral burial befits her

Humaneness befits a Quaker

Hence we may use the plural form to write:

Nobility and courage befit admiration as a hero.

When turned round to mimic the structure of your examples:

As befit nobility and courage, they are admired as heroic qualities.

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