Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

hold (something) against (somebody)

hold something against somebody
Meaning(s)
1) be angry or dislike somebody due to something they have done in the past
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • I won't hold that against you
  • Analysis

    To 'hold something against someone' means to have a negative attitude towards someone based on how they behaved in the past. When you hold something against someone it is the same as 'holding a grudge' meaning you find it hard to forgive past wrongdoings and move on.

  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. Person A: "I can't stand Andrea, especially after the way she behaved at the party last weekend." Person B: "You can't hold that against her - she'd just had too much to drink."
    2. I don't believe in holding things against people. iI someone apologises to me I am willing to let things go.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. Luke did leave the company in the lurch before, but he's proven his reliability since then. It's not fair to keep holding that against him.
    2. Tom's mistake cost us a lucrative contract, but it could have happened to anyone. I won't hold it against him.
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