Ano hito-no kamigata-wa, anmari kimono-ni awanai. (That girl’s hairstyle doesn’t suit her kimono.)

Situation 1: Mr. and Mrs. Shiba are together on a public holiday.

夫: うわあ、きれいな着物を着た女性(じょせい)が多いなあ。

妻: 今日は成人式だからね。でも、あの人の髪型は、あんまり着物に合わないな。ドレスにはいいと思うけど。

Otto: Uwā, kireina kimono-wo kita josei-ga ōi-nā.

Tsuma: Kyō-wa seijinshiki-dakara-ne. Demo, ano hito-no kamigata-wa, anmari kimono-ni awanai-na. Doresu-ni-wa ii-to omou-kedo.

Husband: Wow! There are a lot of young ladies out in beautiful kimono today.

Wife: That’s because today is their coming-of-age celebration. But that girl’s hairstyle doesn’t suit her kimono. I guess it’s a good match for a dress, though.

Today we will introduce the meanings and usage of the verb 合(あ)う that means to fit. 合う is used to describe how something or someone (X) fits with something or someone else (Y) using the pattern X(a thing or person)はY(a thing or person)に合う, as in 今(いま)の仕事(しごと)は私(わたし)に合っている (My current job suits me). More examples: ふとっちゃって体(からだ)に合わなくなったから、このスカートあげる (I’m going to give you this skirt, since I’ve gotten fat and it doesn’t suit me any more). 私(わたし)に合う人(ひと)、どこかにいないかな (I wonder if there’s someone somewhere who matches me).

Situation 2: Ms. Akasaka is talking to Ms. Gray about love.

グレイ: 相談って、経理の大森さんのこと? ずいぶん赤坂さんと気が合うんだなーと思っていたのよ。

赤坂: ええ、まあ・・・。 でも、つきあっているうちに、価値観が合わないということがわかってきたんです。

Gray: Sōdan-tte, keiri-no Ōmori-san-no koto? Zuibun Akasaka-san-to ki-ga au-n-da-nā-to omotte-ita-noyo.

Akasaka: Ee, mā . . . . Demo, tsukiatte-iru uchi-ni, kachikan-ga awanai-to iu koto-ga wakatte-kita-n-desu.

Gray: What about Mr. Omori in the accounting section? I thought you got on well with him.

Akasaka: Well, he’s not bad, but while I was going out with him, I gradually noticed that we have different values.

合う is also used as a set phrase, e.g., 気( き, feelings)/性格(せいかく, character)/話(はなし, talk)が合う, as in 世代(せだい)のちがう人(ひと)とは、話(はなし)が合わない (I just don’t hit it off with people from different generations).

When a calculation or exam answers are correct, the verb 合う is used, as in: テストの答(こたえ)が全部(ぜんぶ)合っていた (All my answers in the exam were correct). In this meaning, its antonym is ちがう (wrong/lit. different [from the right answer]).

Bonus Dialogue: Mr. Sere and his girlfriend Yuri are in Ginza.

セレ: あ、かわいいくつ! ゆりに似合(にあ)いそう。

ゆり: うん、すてき! でも、私(わたし)の足(あし)は大(おお)きいから、デザインが気(き)に入(い)っても、サイズがなかなか合(あ)わないのよ。ほら、これも22.5 センチで、「現品(げんぴん)かぎり」だって。

セレ: ふうん、そうか。ゆりは、とくに体(からだ)が大きいわけじゃないのに…。

ゆり: 24 センチのくつなんて、ごついデザインばかりだから、服(ふく)に合うのを探(さが)すのが大変(たいへん)!

セレ: ゆりは、ドレッシーなデザインが好(す)きだものね。女(おんな)は色々(いろいろ)めんどうだなあ。ぼくは男(おとこ)でよかった。

ゆり: でも、そのめんどうが楽(たの)しいのよ。私は女でよかった。

セレ: うん、ぼくもゆりが女でよかった。もしゆりが男だったら、ぼくは、こんなすてきな恋人(こいびと)と出会(であ)えなかったわけだから。

ゆり: もし私が男だったら、最高(さいこう)に気(き)の合う親友(しんゆう)に出会えたでしょ。

セレ: ぼくたちは今(いま)、最高の恋人で最高の親友だから、やっぱり、これが最高だよ。

Sere: Oh, they’re cute shoes — you’d look nice in them.

Yuri: Yeah, they’re nice! But, since my feet are big, there aren’t many shoes that fit my size, no matter how much I may like their design. Look, these are 22.5 cm and they say “For display only.”

Sere: I see. Even so, you’re not an especially big woman . . .

Yuri: Most shoes that are 24 cm are of rustic design, and I have trouble in fitting ones that suit my clothes.

Sere: Yeah, you do like elegant designs. Women have a lot of troubles. I’m happy that I’m a man.

Yuri: But women enjoy these kind of troubles [choosing their clothing]. I’m happy that I’m a woman.

Sere: Yeah, I’m happy that you’re a woman, too. If you were a man, I couldn’t have found such a wonderful girlfriend as you.

Yuri: If I were a man, you could have met a wonderful best friend, couldn’t you?

Sere: Now we’re lovers and friends, which is the best way.

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