I came across this sentence today and it stumped me a little.
The 場面に合った part I’m don’t understand, and why is it in past tense?
Thank you in advance!
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場面 is "scene/situation", and 合う is "to match/fit/accord". 場面に合う is "to fit the situation". Therefore, 場面に合った話し方 is "the way of speaking that fits the situation", "appropriate way of speaking for each scene", etc.
Regarding this た, it describes not 過去 (past tense) but something called 完了 (perfect aspect). It describes the continuation of the state as a result of an action. It's the fourth definition of デジタル大辞泉:
This type of た is often interchangeable with ている. Please see the following related questions:
合う, as well as its antonym 間違う, is an instant state-change verb. You may know you can say 合っています ("that's correct") and 間違っています ("that's wrong").
(By the way, the archaic version of this type of た is たり, not べし/べき. たる is the attributive form of たり, so 咲きたる桜 in archaic Japanese is 咲いた桜 or 咲いている桜 in modern Japanese.)