Prepositions – Against

  • Against means touching something or somebody for support.

    Pattern 1: verb + against + noun
    The man was leaning against his car.

    Typical verbs used before against:
    hang, lean, lie, rest, sleep

    Pattern 2: verb + noun + against + noun
    They held the mirror against the wall.

    Typical verbs used before against:
    butt, hold, keep, lay, lean, place, pull, put, rest, set

  • Against means touching forcibly.

    Pattern: noun + verb + against + noun
    The rain beat against the window.

    Verbs often used before against:
    bang, beat, crash, crush, heave, hit, knock, push, splash, throw, thrust

  • Against means in opposition to.

    Pattern: noun + verb + against + noun
    The mayor was against the idea of a new day-care center.
    Stealing is against the law.
    Our senator voted against that bill.

    Typical verbs used before against:
    act, argue, campaign, debate, fight, go, move, play, vote, work

    Nouns often used after against:
    action, bill, concept, enemy, force, idea, law, nomination, orders, plan, precepts, principles, proposal, regulations, religion, rules, suggestion, teachings, team, wishes

  • Against can mean toward a force in the opposite direction.

    Pattern: verb + against + the + noun
    Sailing was rough yesterday; we sailed against the wind all day.

    Typical verbs used before against:
    drive, fight, go, move, run, sail, struggle, swim, walk

    Nouns often used after against:
    current, flow, force, tide, wind

    Expression:
    against traffic—
    I drive against traffic because I live in the city and I work in the suburbs.

  • Against can mean to the disadvantage of.

    Pattern: noun + be + against + noun
    You may not get that job because your age is against you.