Grammar Info
N2 Lesson 6: 1/20

go against, contrary to

formal writing, formal speech

Noun + 反し(て)
Noun + に反する + Noun
Register Formal
使用域 硬い
に反(はん)して, a combination of に and the て-form of 反(はん)する ‘to oppose’, or ‘to go against’, is a construction in Japanese that is used to present counter opinions or arguments in relation to the previous statement. Common translations include ‘contrary to (A), (B)’, and ‘going against (A), (B)’.
に反(はん)して will appear after nouns, before expressing some opposing or contrasting point. Alternatively, に反(はん)する may be used when directly modifying the following noun.
  • 彼(かれ)らは会社(かいしゃ)のルールに反(はん)して交際(こうさい)をしているらしい。
    I heard that they are dating, which goes against the company rules.
  • 予想(よそう)に反(はん)してクライアントの反応(はんのう)がいまいちだったので、最初(さいしょ)からやり直(なお)さなきゃいけない。
    Contrary to our expectations, the client's response was not good, so we had to start over from the beginning.
  • 私(わたし)は上司(じょうし)の指示(しじ)に反(はん)することはできません。
    I cannot do anything that goes against my supervisor's instructions.
Unlike に対(たい)して, に反(はん)して will often be used when a prediction does not match the actual reality of a situation.
  • 予想(よそう)に反(はん)して早(はや)く終(お)える事(こと)ができた。
    Contrary to our expectations, we were able to finish early.
  • 予想(よそう)に対(たい)して早(はや)く終(お)える事(こと)ができた。
    Contrary to our expectations, we were able to finish early.
に反(はん)して is a fairly formal grammar pattern, so will be found mostly in literature, official documents, or speeches.
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Contrary to the will of my parents, I left my hometown and moved to the capital.
うちのチームは予想(よそう)に反(はん)して、 昨年(さくねん)優勝(ゆうしょう)したチームに勝(か)ったよ! 
Contrary to expectations, our team beat the team that won the race last year!
The existence of magic goes against common sense, but thanks to the rich imagination of authors, we can dive into the world of magic through movies and books.

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