To Fit In (People & Things)

Discussion in 'Русский (Russian)' started by RhoKappa, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. RhoKappa Senior Member

    Standard American English
    Fitting in means to be consistent with surroundings, whether or not they are people or things. Here are some examples.

    1. Suppose there is a funeral and everyone wears black, and Незнайка shows up wearing bright yellow and orange. In this clear case, Незнайка does not fit in.
    2. We can also consider the example of a high-class night club where everybody looks beautiful, and when an unattractive and fat girl shows up, she is easily noticed because she is not as attractive as everyone else. Sergei tells his friend, "Look at that gibbon! She certainly does not fit in."
    3. In a crate of oranges, a man returns an apple. The apple certainly does not fit in with the oranges.
    4. A short young man feels very uncomfortable hanging around a group of older, tall basketball players. The basketball players invite him to a social event with other basketball players, but the short man declines because he tells them, "I wouldn't fit in if I went with you."

    Как сказать по-русски?
  2. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I don't think there are any really good translations. The way I see it, there are two parts to the meaning of "fit in": "to feel comfortable" and "to not stand out". You might have better luck translating those parts separately, depending on which one you really mean.

    To apply this to one of your examples:

    - Незнайке было очень неудо́бно из-за того, что его одежда не подходи́ла. (= Незнайка felt very uncomfortable because his clothes were unfitting.)
    - Из-за его одежды, Незнайка сильно выделя́лся в толпе. (= Because of his clothes, Незнайка strongly stood out in the crowd.)

    In the case of misplaced objects (or clothes), you could also say the following, which incidentally is the same thing I said about Незнайка's clothes above:

    - Яблоко не подхо́дит в ящике апельсин. (= The apple is out of place in the crate of oranges.)
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  3. igusarov

    igusarov Senior Member

    Moscow, Russia
    Looking at your examples I conclude that this verb is intransitive, right? You can use it without an object, and it would imply that the object is "the surroundings". Then we have a problem. All Russian verbs with close meaning are transitive; they require an explicit direct object: "соотве́тствовать чему-то", "подходи́ть к чему-то". Had you asked about "fit in with something", these verbs would do. But without an object... no. (Well, they can be used without an object, but it must be a special context.)

    Thinking about intransitive predicates, I can come up with several equivalent phrases, but they are not direct translations of "fit in"... And each one of them would sound good only in one or two of your situations. Green marks the sentences which I could have said myself.

    "неуме́стный", "некста́ти", "не в те́му" =~ "inappropriate". The latter option "не в тему" is highly colloquial.
    1. Незнайка оделся неуместно. (formal)
    2. Она здесь явно неуместна. (dismissive, down-the-nose)
    3. Яблоко неуместно в коробке апельсинов. (sounds poor)
    4. Я буду там неуместен. (very formal)

    "не́чего де́лать" =~ "has nothing to do with". This is NOT a precise translation for "does not fit in"! But, surprisingly, it fits in all your examples. "Не ме́сто" ("does not belong") can also be used to the same effect, though it may sound dogmatic and sometimes pompous.
    1. Незнайке нечего делать на похоронах в таком наряде.
    2. Ей здесь точно нечего делать.
    3. Яблоку нечего делать в коробке апельсинов.
    4. Мне нечего делать в вашей компании.

    "впи́сываться" =~ "blend with". This translation conveys the desired literal meaning of "fitting in", but it is a colloquial and figurative option. And it is transitive. Also, in some cases it sounds borderline to slang, or even unnatural. Yet, as verbs go, this is a better option than "соответствовать, подходить" in your context.
    1. Незнайка не вписывается в общую картину.
    2. Она сюда точно не вписывается.
    3. Яблоко не вписывается в коробку апельсинов. (sounds poor)
    4. Я плохо вписываюсь в вашу компанию.
  4. punctuate Senior Member

    Sorry, what does this mean? :) Even if I correct the case of the word апельсинов, the verb подходить is out of place there.
    I would agree with igusarov. As a non-explaining explanation of the reason why I should not put an apple in the crate of oranges (why would I want to, anyway), "нечего делать" is fine, just like "does not fit in" in English.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  5. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Thanks for the correction, but I don't see a problem with the sentence otherwise. "Подходить" is not out of place at all in this sentence. "Нечего делать" works as well, but it is a less literal translation and I see no advantage to it over mine.
  6. Maroseika Moderator

    The word itself may be not out of place, but the government is wrong. The word подходить in the sense "to fit" combines with preposition "к": подходить к чему-либо.
    So gramatically it should have been Яблоки не подходят к ящику апельсинов. Or more natural: Яблоки не подходят к апельсинам (like Зеленая брошка не подходит к синему платью).
  7. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    But that changes the sentence. You can think of it like this: Яблоко здесь не подходит. Где? В ящике апельсинов.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  8. Maroseika Moderator

    Why it changes? Яблоки не подходят к апельсинам (by color, size, price, whatever), that is why they are out of place in the box of oranges, or, coming back to the topic starter's explanation, it is inconsistent with the orange surroundings.

    Yet another option for the word подходить is подходить куда-либо (but not подходить во что-либо):
    Эта деталь сюда не подходит.:tick:
    Эта деталь в радиоприемник не подходит.:cross:

    Подходить где-либо is correct word combination, but only где-либо and not в чем-либо:
    Эта деталь здесь (там) не подходит.:tick:
    Эта деталь в станке не подходит.:cross:

    You may also say подходить для чего-либо (кого-либо).
  9. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I have to say that those sound perfectly fine to me. I would only use "к" when talking about matching with something, not in something.
  10. decabrine Member

    In the context that you provided "fit in" means "вписываться". For example: "Я не вписываюсь в вашу компанию" (cause I'm not stylish, not well-educated and too old for ex.). Look at the fourth meaning of this word in bold:
    вписываться несов. 1) а) Включаться в состав чего-л. б) перен. Запечатлеваться в памяти кого-л. 2) а) Полностью входить, вмещаться во что-л. при соблюдении определенных условий. б) Входить в ряд движущихся машин, совершать какой-л. маневр (обычно в речи водителей). 3) Оказываться включенным в общее целое создаваемого произведения. 4) а) перен. Гармонически сочетаться (по виду, характеру и т.п.) с окружающим. б) Свободно входить, органически включаться в какой-л. коллектив, в какое-л. общество. 5) Страд. к глаг.: вписывать (1-4).
  11. Maroseika Moderator

    But nevertheless this is incorrect. Here is opinion of the authoritative Russian dictionary of government:

    Подходить (быть годным, удобным, приемлемым) кому, для кого-чего и к кому-чему.
    Это прозвище ему подходит.
    Цена для нас вполне подходит.
    ты думаешь, кремовый воротничок к этому платью подходит?
  12. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Well that doesn't mention the relevant cases of "где" and "куда" (which are always replaceable by "в чем" and "в чего", respectively).
  13. Maroseika Moderator

    No, "где" и "куда" are not always replaceable by "в чем" and "во что", because they may also very well refer to на чём and на что, под чем and подо что, между чем и чем and so on and so forth. That is why:

    Куда эта деталь подходит? Сюда. :tick:
    В этот приемник этот резистор не подходит.:cross:

    Здесь нам это резистор не подходит.:tick:
    В наш приемник этот резистор не подходит.:cross:
  14. punctuate Senior Member

    Well, there is none, I would say. No real context and no real question. It was: "how do you say 'to fit in'" in Russian?" The real answer is: we don't say that, unless we're talking in English. Then, one might try to correct the question (there is such thing as a wrong question, since any question contains some statements as well), but with different and mostly very imperfect results...
    The first phrase of these two seems to me, after analysis but not before, a "contamination" of the phrase "эта деталь не подходит", meaning "this part is of no use for my business", and the phrase "эту деталь не получается вставить в радиоприёмник", but in casual speech it's absolutely fine (unlike in the case with the oranges that you can't save by changing the case of ящик to accusative because no such useful phrase for contamination appears in the mind); the second phrase is fine on the condition that it is additionally said what it does not compose to; it contains a subject (эта деталь в станке), and a verb, but no kinds of objects, so the phrase appears incomplete. It may be fine if the completion (like the kind of business that the person is currently doing) is obvious from the context.
  15. decabrine Member

    The context is the examples given by the topic starter. The meaning of the verb was also given. So what's wrong? :)For each of these sentences we can find a better expression to translate "fit in" into Russian, but in general, the verb "вписываться" is a correct translation.
  16. punctuate Senior Member

    Each of these examples could be posed in a million of different contexts; that's not to mention that some of the examples themselves look to me overly stretched, that is they provoke no viable context by default (why should I want to put an apple into a crate of oranges, for example), so the only way of translating them is in a phrasebook way… which could be useful, but only if anybody implied to ask exactly these questions as a tourist, or if one was willing to make a huge (really huge) theoretical analysis of how Russians express fitness. I do not question your ideas, I just make a little note that their usefulness in this case is not great.
    "Где" and "куда" are different words than "в чём" and "во что" ("в чего" does not exist, "в" does not take the genitive case; a typo, right?). Logically, they may well be replaceable, but this does not mean that linguistically, they should be the same thing with the same implications, even when the physical reality that the two express is the same: there are quite some cases, where the reality is the same, but the grammar is deeply different.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  17. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    (As you probably know, "чего" is also the colloquial accusative, and sometimes even nominative. So you're right that I was wrong, but it has nothing to do with the genitive case.)
    And what I meant was that they are linguistically replaceable, because they are not always logically interchangeable. Any question with "где" can be answered by replacing "где" with a prepositional phrase such as "в радиоприемнике" or "на радиоприемнике", of course with precondition that it would make sense logically. Likewise with "куда" a prepositional phrase such as "в радиоприемник" "на радиоприемник".
  18. Maroseika Moderator

    That's right. But then how it helps with подходить? If we can say подходить где, it doesn't mean we can also say подходить в, because in quite similar fashion it would mean that we can say подходить на, подходить между, подходить за, all of which are evidently incorrect.
  19. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    "Где" did not "appear here out of nothing":
    Яблоко здесь не подходит. > Яблоко где не подходит? > Яблоко в ящике апельсинов не подходит.
  20. punctuate Senior Member

    Thank you for the diagram. This does not work this way.
    Яблоко здесь не подходит. > Яблоко где не подходит? > Яблоко в этой ситуации не подходит.
    Ящик апельсинов is unrelated with this.

    (That post of mine was messy; I am sorry I got interrupted while writing it, and I was completing it mechanically then).
  21. Maroseika Moderator

    Why can't we say then: Яблоко за ящиком апельсинов не подходит? or Яблоко под ящиком апельсинов не подходит?
  22. Drink

    Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Because they don't make much logical sense. The oranges are in the crate, not behind it or under it; so it is in the crate where the apple может не подходить.
  23. Maroseika Moderator

    - Где апельсины?
    - На столе.
    - Думаю, яблоки на них не подходят. На них подошли бы лимоны, они тоже желтоватые.
    What's wrong here following your logic?

    The point is that there is no grammatical connection between где and в чем-либо. Где and здесь are generalized expression of location, while в чем-либо, на чем-либо, подо что-либо and so on are particular expression of location, and the fact that a verb combines with the formers by no means automatically allows it to combine with the latters.
    This was theoretical substantiation (or better say an attempt of such). But maybe better to look at it from the practical point of view and just agree with the opinion of the natives and of the authoritative grammar references: подходить во что-либо is nothing but wrong.

    Correct government:
    подходить к чему-кому;
    подходить кому;
    подходить для чего-кого;
    подходить где, куда.
  24. punctuate Senior Member

    An intervention: when something не подходит где-либо, then где-либо can mean only a situation, a collection of circumstances, but never a physical location. Otherwise, Drink's logic is good.

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