Fit vs. fitted

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In American and Canadian English, fit is often uninflected in the the past tense and as a past participle. Outside North America, writers typically favor fitted for these uses, but fit appears some of the time. But as adjectives, fit and fitted do have a distinction: fit means healthy or appropriate, and fitted means designed to fit.


American and Canadian writers tend to use fit instead of fitted as the past and perfect tense of fit, as in these instances:

Kennedy’s vision could easily have fit in a Twitter post if the service had existed in 1961. [Forbes]

His easygoing manner provided a contrast to the past regime and fit the fun, young clubhouse in Milwaukee. [Sports Illustrated]

Outside North America, fitted, as used below, is the preferred form:

Sir Ernest Eldridge fitted the first example of an A-12 to Mephistopheles in 1922 with the aim of taking some silverware at Brooklands. [Telegraph]

They’ve fitted the birds with satellite tags that will track their movements in the UK and abroad. [Daily Mail]

And throughout the English-speaking world, writers tend to observe the distinction between fit and fitted as past participles—for example:

The restaurant at Port Phillip Estate is a fine dining experience with food fit for a top restaurant in any city. [Nelson Mail]

It more or less comes with the territory when you’re a cocker spaniel garbed in a specially fitted Canuck jersey. [Toronto Star]

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