in spite of / despite / although

 

 

in spite of / despite / although

In spite of, despite and although are all used to show a contrast but there are differences in the structures used with them.

In spite of / despite

After in spite of
and despite we use a noun or a pronoun.

  • We enjoyed our camping holiday in spite of the rain.
  • Despite the pain in his leg he completed the marathon.
  • Despite having all the necessary qualifications, they didn’t offer me the job.

Remember that the gerund (‘-ing’ form) is the ‘noun’ form of a verb.

The only difference between in spite of and despite is the ‘of’.

  • Despite of the bad weather, there was a large crowd at the match.

Although

After although we use a subject and a verb.

  • We enjoyed our camping holiday although it rained every day.
  • Although he worked very hard, he didn’t manage to pass the exam.
  • The holiday was great although the hotel wasn’t very nice.

We can use in spite of and despite with a subject and verb if we include the expression ‘the fact that’.

  • In spite of the fact that he worked very hard, he didn’t manage to pass the exam.
  • Despite the fact that he worked very hard, he didn’t manage to pass the exam.

Even though

Even though is a slightly stronger form of although.

  • We decided to buy the house even though we didn’t really have enough money.
  • You keep making that stupid noise even though I’ve asked you to stop three times.

Like although, even though is followed by a subject and a verb.

 

Exercise

Comments

Hi LearnEnglish Team,

May I know whether we should put a comma before 'although' in the following sentences?

1) We enjoyed our camping holiday although it rained every day.
2) The holiday was great although the hotel wasn’t very nice.

Thank you in advance.

Hello Danielle N,

Yes, there should be a comma before 'although' in both sentences.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Lecture

Can i ask how to improve my English ? My English were poor for skill writing, speaking, grammar, vocabulary and misunderstand meaning of sentences when I am reading new or article. However, my friend was do not know what I am talk to them? Can you guide me or give me some advise? I have intake my degree course in Singapore. Hopefully can guide me do the best way?

Hi winly,

We have a page with just this kind of advice! It's our Help page, which you can find here.

I hope that answers your question.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I'm sometimes confused between gerunds and participles so i try to follow these rules strictly even then I'm sometimes confused by the people around me. latest confusion being;
In spite of arriving late he was allowed to enter the exam room.
A very senior teacher said that it is not a gerund but a participle. I tried showing her this forum but she said 'in spite of doing what...' because of 'doing' it's participle. please help.

Hi hanabee,

I've always understood that prepositions (such as 'of' in 'in spite of') are followed be nouns or verbal nouns (gerunds), but whatever you want to call them, present participles and gerunds have the same form (verb+ing) in English. Here at LearnEnglish we focus on practical issues needed to learn to use the language and don't go into such issues too much. Nor do we comment on other teachers' or sites' explanations, I'm afraid.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I want to improve my English well, but im not good in grammar.

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