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'in spite of', 'despite', 'although', 'even though' and 'though'

Do you know how to connect two contrasting ideas using although, even though, in spite of and despite?

Look at these examples to see how although, even though, in spite of and despite are used.

Although we don't agree, I think she's a brilliant speaker.
Even though we don't agree, I think she's a brilliant speaker.
In spite of the law, people continue to use mobile phones while driving.
Despite the law, people continue to use mobile phones while driving.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

'in spite of', 'despite', 'although', 'even though' and 'though': Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

Although, even though, in spite of and despite are all used to link two contrasting ideas or show that one fact makes the other fact surprising. They can all be used at the beginning or in the middle of the sentence. 

Despite the rain, we enjoyed the festival.
We enjoyed the festival, despite the rain.

The main difference between although, even though, in spite of and despite is that they are used with different structures. 

in spite of / despite

After in spite of and despite, we use a noun, gerund (-ing form of a verb) or a pronoun.

They never made much money, in spite of their success.
In spite of the pain in his leg, he completed the marathon.
Despite having a headache, I had a great birthday.
The train was cancelled. In spite of that, we arrived on time.

Note that it is common to use in spite of and despite with the expression the fact that, followed by a subject and verb.

In spite of the fact that he worked very hard, he didn't pass the exam.
Despite the fact that he worked very hard, he didn't pass the exam.

although / even though

After although and even though, we use a subject and a verb. Even though is slightly stronger and more emphatic than although.

I enjoyed the course, although I would have liked more grammar practice.
Although we saw each other every day, we didn't really know each other.
Even though she spoke very quietly, he understood every word.
She didn't get the job, even though she had all the necessary qualifications.

though

Though can be used in the same way as although

Though I wasn't keen on the film, I thought the music was beautiful.

Though can also go at the end of the second phrase. This way of expressing contrasting ideas is most common in spoken English.

We waited ages for our food. The waiter was really nice, though.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

'in spite of', 'despite', 'although', 'even though' and 'though': Grammar test 2

Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

Hi Kirk,
Sorry if my question seemed kinda irrelevant to the main topic. but, I'd like to ask you how to use "however" and whether it follows a comma or a semicolon?
Thank you for considering my question.

Hello Dina Diab

A comma is often used near or immediately before or after 'however'. What I'd recommend is that you take a look at the example sentences in the dictionary entry, where you can see these different uses. If you have any questions after reading them, or if you want to try a few sentences here, please don't hesitate.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Although I was sick I went at work. I decided to make peace with my friend, even though I didn’t like him. Although some people like living in the city I like to live in the Countryside.

Dear sir,
Can you please tell the error in the following sentences and is it correct to use 'although' this way?

1) Hot and humid although (a)/ the weather was,(b)/we kept fighting to win the (c)/ match till the end of the match. (d)/ no error (e)

2) immensely talented although (a)/ he is, he never (b)/helped India to win a (c)/ final match on his own.(d)/ no error (e)

Hello Pratapsingh

In an older style or perhaps in verse, it's correct to use 'although' in this way, but in most speaking or writing these days both of these sentence would sound quite strange (though intelligible). A more standard phrasing would be 'Although the weather was hot and humid, ...'

Other than that, I don't see any other grammatical errors.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank u dear sir

Hello Mr Kirk ,

I can't understand the difference between in spite of and despite ?

Hello Momocompanyman,

There is no difference between despite and in spite of in meaning or grammatical function, and you can use the two interchangeably.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much for benefit.

Hello,
Sorry to leave a question here about "unless".
I didn't find a section in grammar part of the site under which "unless" is explained.

On what condition, should subjunctive be used after "unless"?

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