Key Difference – Versus vs Against
Versus and against are two prepositions that have similar meanings. However, they cannot be used interchangeably without making changes to the structure of a sentence. The key difference between versus and against is that versus is typically used between two parallel nouns whereas against is not.
Now, let us discuss the difference between Versus and Against in more detail by first looking at the definitions, meanings, and usage of the words Versus and Against.
What Does Versus Mean
Versus can mean against, as opposed to and in contrast to. Versus is also written as vs. Versus is specially used to refer to sports or legal cases. For example,
Everyone was excited to watch the England versus Australia cricket match.
Brazil vs. Germany match was canceled due to weather.
The plaintiff versus the defendant
The above sentences indicate a competition or conflict between the two relevant entities. It is also important to note that versus is mostly used with nouns, i.e., this preposition usually occurs between two nouns. You can also note that the two relevant nouns are always parallels. For example, they can be two names of countries, teams, or people. (e.g. Manchester united vs Liverpool, Spain vs Germany, Spiderman vs Venom, etc.)
What Does Against Mean
Against is also a preposition that has a similar meaning to versus. Against primarily means in opposition to. However, the usage of this word differs from versus. Look at the following examples to see the difference between versus and against.
The police officers fought courageously against crime.
I tried to swim against the tide.
His neighbors gave evidence against him.
We decided to take legal actions against the man who stalked Maria.
Media is an important weapon in the fight against corruption.
They played against England and won in 1998.
As seen from the above examples, against is not used with two nouns. Instead, it is often used with a verb.
Thus, versus and against cannot be used interchangeably even if they have similar meanings. Look at the following examples to understand the difference between versus and against.
I watched the India versus Pakistan match.
I watched India against Pakistan match.
√ India played against Pakistan.
They used the victim’s evidence against the suspect.
They used the victim’s evidence versus the suspect.
Literature is a tool that can be used against ignorance.
Literature is a tool that can be used versus ignorance.
The preposition against has also have several other meanings, which slightly differ from the above mentioned meaning. You can observe these different meanings by looking at the following examples.
It’s impossible to swim against the tide.
He leaned against the tree.
Debris washed against the shore.
I trusted his words against my better judgment.
Where to Use Versus and Against
If you are not sure to what preposition should be used to indicate contrast or opposition, you can always use the above-mentioned factors to decide the correct prepositions:
If you are talking about a conflict or competition between two parallel nouns, use versus.
Dark angel versus Grim reaper
Sri Lanka versus Australia
If you are talking about two nouns that are not similar use against.
The battle against corruption
Evidence against the thief
What is the difference between Versus and Against?
Versus: Versus is typically used with two nouns.
Against: Against is used with a verb, not two parallel nouns.
Versus: Versus is often used to refer to sports or legal cases.
Against: Against is used to denote something that opposes another thing.