despite,over or against


Australian English
Hi Guys!!

In the following "Sixteen years later, they went a step further, announcing a total moratorium on the killing of whales, starting in 1986. It was intended as a temporary measure, but was renewed at subsequent IWC meetings (prep) the objections of three countries: Norway, Iceland and Japan.

This is a gap filling exercise taken from a Japanese test paper. For me either despite,over,or against fit here, but a couple of colleagues don't necessarily agree that 'against' is a suitable preposition!! If not, why???

What's your opinion??

Many thanks!
  • Wishfull

    Senior Member
    I'm a Japanese.
    If I were an examinee, I would choose the answer "despite".

    "Against three countries" would be correct, but "against the objections" might be wrong. Somehow redundant or duplicated.
    "Over" might be correct, but I prefer "despite", because it makes the sentence the most logical expression.

    Mine might be the way of Japanese-English thinking. Not natives way of thinking.
    In my brain, despite=in spite of, and sounds better in this kind of sentence structure.
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    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Well, I'd agree that 'against' is possible here but also that it's least likely. 'Despite' is neutral, and 'over' emphasizes that the objections of those countries were overrun, overridden, stamped out. The meaning of 'against' here is less clear, but I don't think it's wrong.


    Senior Member
    U.S. English & Mexican Spanish
    Hello Happy12 and welcome,
    I would say that if you use "against", you are implying that the three countries are objecting the renewel for the specific reason of being against it. "Against" sounds like a much stronger word in terms of the reasons they objected. When you use "despite", it implies less specific reasons for the objections. I am in total agreement with entangledbank, and he/she explained this very eloquently. I just wanted to add more feedback.
    I hope this helps.
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    Senior Member
    American English (Mostly MidAtlantic)
    I have heard both despite and over. There is a nuance of difference but I've lost what it is at the moment. I think "over" sounds like a situation where the objections were going on at the moment and those who were objecting lost. "Despite" sounds like the objectors objected (some time ago) and lost at some later time. But that's really an overly fine distinction.

    Anyone else ?


    Australian English
    Thank you for your great help!!It's much appreciated!!I agree 'against' is the least likely response!!
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