Does Stack up against mean comparatively to level up in performance?

Performance wise, junior students need to stack up against the seniors to set a high reputation.

Is it a correct construction?

  • @BobRodes, In that case is the above sentence correct? – Gt_R Apr 16 '16 at 19:16
  • Perhaps a good synonymous term is "compare well with." The idiom means to be roughly equivalent to something in terms of capability or quality. As such, "perform about as well as the seniors" is another way of expressing it here. FYI, "stack up with" and "stack up to" are also fairly common. Note that these two also often have different meanings, such as "you can stack up to 12 chips in one pile and no more." – BobRodes Apr 16 '16 at 19:17

I don't think that the idiom can be used in that way. Here are some examples:

We wondered how London restaurants stacked up against Atlanta's.

Their gift doesn't stack up against mine

The new ​model of this ​car just doesn't ​stack up against ​previous ​models

The idiom refers to stacking up your poker chips against somebody else's: either your stack is as high as theirs, or it isn't. It's not something that you can "need to" or "try to".

A better way of expressing what you want to say would be:

Junior students need to perform as well as the seniors to get a good reputation

  • In my opinion to your answer, I suppose it should be "as good as" in the place of "as well as". – Gt_R Apr 16 '16 at 15:07
  • @Gt_R, perform is a verb: you have to qualify it with an adverb well, not an adjective good. gtotd.blogspot.com.eg/2011/09/… – JavaLatte Apr 16 '16 at 15:09
  • Got it. very helpful for further learning. So, is 'stacking against' for comparison in numbers? – Gt_R Apr 16 '16 at 15:38
  • @Gt_R, It could be used for numbers but that's relatively rare. If you look at the three examples I quoted, they are all subejctive comparisons, not numerical ones. – JavaLatte Apr 16 '16 at 15:49
  • 1
    Exactly, it's about quality. – JavaLatte Apr 16 '16 at 16:47

If you took the original sentence,

Performance wise, junior students need to stack up against the seniors to set a high reputation.

and replaced "stack up aganist" with this,

Performance wise, junior students need to compare to the seniors to set a high reputation.

it would have the same meaning. So you could say that "stack up aganist" means "to be comparable to".

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