Das Bild passt zu der Wand

Discussion in 'Deutsch (German)' started by olives, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. olives Senior Member


    How would you translate the following sentence into English?

    "Das Bild passt zu der Wand."

    - The painting goes well with the wall.
    - The painting matches the wall.
    - The painting suits the wall. (The painting harmonizes well with the colour of the wall)
    - The painting fits the wall. (The painting has the necessary/right dimensions to fit the wall)

    I am aware of the difference between "suit" and "fit" as/like (should I say "as" or "like" here?) in "the dress suits me" (for example, the colour) and "the dress fits me" (the right size).
    Is it possible to use "fit" and "suit" with "to" like in the sentence "The painting fits/suits to the wall"?

    Many thanks in advance for clear and simple explanations.
  2. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    "The painting fits the wall." is for sure wrong. It would be "Das Bild passt an die Wand" in German.
  3. olives Senior Member

    Der Satz war aber nicht meine, sondern die von einer Deutschen, aber es mag sein, dass ich mich an ihren Satz nicht richtig erinnern kann. Im Wörterbuch finde ich außerdem den folgenden Eintrag: "etwas passt (zu etwas)", etwas geht mit etwas so zusammen, dass es eine harmonische Gesamtwirkung ergibt ≈ etwas harmoniert mit etwas:
    Der Hut passt sehr gut zum neuen Kleid
    Für mich ist der Satz auf Deutsch richtig, aber ich bin kein Muttersprachler.

    "etwas passt (zu etwas)" means that something harmonizes with something. In English it would be the idea of "something suits something", wouldn't it be?
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  4. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member

    Genau und deshalb kann "Das Bild passt zu der Wand" nicht "The painting fits the wall" sein.

    Das Kleid passt ihr = The dress fits her.
    Das Kleid passt zu ihr/ Das Kleid steht ihr. = The dress suits her.

    Das Bild passt an die Wand = fit
    Das Bild passt zur Wand = suit
  5. manfy Senior Member

    German - Austria
    "Das Bild passt zu der Wand."

    - The painting goes well with the wall. :tick:
    That's what I would say, instinctively.

    "The painting suits the wall." sounds very, very odd to me (and I can't even explain why)!
    However, I'd have no problem saying "The painting is very suitable for this wall."

    But you better wait for opinions from native English speakers.
  6. olives Senior Member

    "The painting suits the wall" sounds probably awkward, because something is supposed to suit a person, not something, I guess.

    I'd be glad to get more opinions, especially from native speakers. Thanks.
  7. perny Senior Member

    Native (UK) EN.

    There's nothing especially odd about the phrase, "The painting suits the wall". At most, it would be considered "polite" speech, like something you would use conversing with a new acquaintance and are visiting their house or if at a museum. It would also be used directly in writing.

    On the other hand, while some would say, "The painting suits the wall" in speech, many would prefer to translate that sentence as, "The painting goes well with the wall", since it is more general.

    Note that with both statements, you are likely to be asked a follow-up question about what specific property of the wall it suits and this could relate to dimensions. I am not sure if this would apply to the original German ...
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015

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