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pulled the door to Options
lazarius
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2021 9:25:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2016
Posts: 1,217
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Location: Pryamitsyno, Kursk, Russia
Quote:
She turned her head as there was a light, dignified knocking at the front door. I went out and opened it. Gatsby, pale as death, with his hands plunged like weights in his coat pockets, was standing in a puddle of water glaring tragically into my eyes.

With his hands still in his coat pockets he stalked by me into the hall, turned sharply as if he were on a wire and disappeared into the living room. It wasn’t a bit funny. Aware of the loud beating of my own heart I pulled the door to against the increasing rain.

-
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This 'against the rain' part makes me picture it as if he actually pushed the door shut. Do I understand it correctly that you use the idion 'pull to' even though actually you push it?
I also wonder if this idiom is understood in Britain.

Here's what TFD has:

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/pull+to

Quote:
pull something to
to close something, usually a door of some type.

-
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs.

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thar
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2021 10:30:26 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 25,053
Neurons: 101,671
Not against the force of the rain.

Against =to counter
Ie, to stop the rain coming in.

If the door is wide open, the floor inside gets wet.

If you pull the door to, it only leaves a tiny gap and no rain gets in.

If there is wind and rain, if you pull the door to it will probably be blown open by the wind, and possibly slam against the wall, so that is not a good idea.

But if it is just raining without being windy you can leave the door to.

Whether you pull the door to or push the door to normally depends on which way the door closes - towards you or away from you.

Since he was inside, maybe the door opened outwards, so he pulled it to.
Maybe a screen door - can't tell from this context.
Or maybe he was next to it, so he pulled it to because it was initially away from him and came closer as he closed it.

Otherwise, yes, the geometry would be odd.
But you don't have to 'push against' the rain.
Yu close a window against the rain.
You put on a raincoat against the rain.
It means to stop it causing a problem (making the house wet, or making you wet).
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2021 10:45:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 35,541
Neurons: 246,934
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
No. If we're pushing a door to, we use "push the door to" or "close the door to".

push to
. . .
2. To shove, thrust, or press something shut. A noun or pronoun is used between "push" and "to." Push that door to—you're letting in a draft!


It's not quite the same as shutting the door, in the way I've always heard it used.

Most doors have a lock or latch which engages when the door is fully shut. You have to press the handle or turn the knob to open it again.

If you "close the door to", you close it only to the point at which it's not quite latched.
It's not fully closed.

I don't think it means "against the force of the rain" - if you shut the door to, having to push against the wind & rain, it would just open again.
It must mean "keeping out the rain".

against
prep
6. as a protection from or means of defence from the adverse effects of: a safeguard against contaminated water.


The way it's written, the door opened outwards and the writer had to pull it closed.
lazarius
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2021 11:05:28 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/27/2016
Posts: 1,217
Neurons: 1,642,912
Location: Pryamitsyno, Kursk, Russia
thar wrote:
You close a window against the rain.
You put on a raincoat against the rain.
It means to stop it causing a problem (making the house wet, or making you wet).

Thanks, now I understand it.

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
No. If we're pushing a door to, we use "push the door to" or "close the door to".

So you have all of them expressions.

Drag0nspeaker wrote:
If you "close the door to", you close it only to the point at which it's not quite latched.
It's not fully closed.

That makes quite a difference.

Thank you very much! You both.

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