There's Difference between 合适 and 适合, which explains how 合适 is an adjective:

合适的性行为有什么害处 (source)
Unsuitable sexual behavior has what harm

找个合适的结婚对象,真的好难 (source)
searching [for] a suitable marriage partner [is] really difficult

whereas 适合 is an verb:

那种牧草最适合牛吃 (source)
That kind of pasture most suits cows to eat

适合什么职业? (source)
I suit what occupation?

However, YouDao lists 适合 as both a transitive and intransitive verb (i.e., no object):

vi. fit

I'm not sure this is correct as I don't recall ever seeing it as an intransitive verb, so want to check.

Question: Can 适合 be used as an intransitive verb?

If so, please give some illustrative examples.

  • Maybe, 我们两个不适合 can be one?
    – dan
    Dec 16, 2019 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


Don't mind it. Youdao is an online dictionary aiming at helping Chinese learn English. When it lists 'v.i. fit' as a translation for 适合, it means that 'fit' is an intransitive verb (though not always the case).


Question: Can 适合 be used as an intransitive verb

Intransitive verbs do not take object. You cannot add an object to 他生病了 and make it 他生病了你, you cannot add an object to 他自殺了 and make it 他自殺了你

"适合" in "老師的工作他很适合" doesn't followed by an object, but it doesn't mean there's no object. The object is "老師的工作" (placing the object before the verb to emphasize it is a common practice)

If you remove "老師的工作"(teacher job) and write 他很适合 (he fit), then it would not be a complete sentence anymore

You can use "他很适合" as an answer to the question "他适合老師的工作嗎?" because the object is implied in the question. But I wouldn't call 适合 an intransitive verb in this case.

I can't think of any case that 'fit' doesn't need an object. there have to be something to be fitted in

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