"He is with us or against us."
Translation:Hij is voor ons of tegen ons.
That changes the meaning (and it is a weird sentence, see below). If you change is to staan the sentence changes to where he is located compared to us.
- Hij staat bij ons = He is standing near us (usually he is part of the group you're standing in).
- Hij staat voor ons = He is standing in front of us
- He staat tegen ons means that he is actually touching us, so this is a bit of a weird sentence in most social contexts. :)
- De auto staat tegen de stoeprand = The car is standing against the kerb (so actually touching the kerb).
- De plank staat tegen de muur = The plank is standing/leaning against the wall
- Hij staat tegenover ons = He is facing us or He is standing oposite us
- Hij staat lijnrecht tegenover ons is an idiom meaning that his opinion is completely opposed to ours (lijnrecht means straight as a line, common usage is only to emphasise completely opposite opinions)
In these first lessons, I've seen the verb 'to be' represented by various verbs in Dutch, though I guess that happens between most languages, thanks for clearing some of the confusion :D
In this instance I was also tempted to use 'staan' because of the English construction 'to stand by someone', but it would have been a long shot anyway.
If to be is represented by another verb, it will usually be the position of x compared to y. If to be is existential, zijn is always used: Ik ben blij (I am happy), Ik denk dus ik ben (I think therefore I am).