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

Do you know how to connect two contrasting ideas?

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

And also In test 2 3rd one.There is using “in spite of” but because of present simple(sleep well) we can’t

Hi RIma0987u,

The phrase is: ... but in spite of that I sleep well. The phrase in spite of must be followed by a noun phrase, pronoun or gerund (here, it's followed by that, a pronoun, which refers to the partner snoring loudly).

I sleep well is a different clause. It's not part of the in spite of clause.

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello I can’t understand, why in test 2 last ones answer is although.There is using gerund(she is arriving) and after gerund we use Despite or in spite of

Hi RIma0987u,

The structures are:

  • Although + subject + verb
  • Despite / In spite of + subject (without a verb phrase)

The question says she's arriving late. Here, she is a subject, and 's arriving late is a verb phrase. That's why although is the right option. We can't use despite or in spite of, because they must be followed by a subject only (i.e., a noun phrase, gerund or pronoun, without a verb phrase).

 

A gerund can function as a subject (or an object). It can be in any structure that needs a subject. But actually, in the phrase She is arriving, arriving isn't a gerund. It's a verb in the -ing verb. An -ing form is called a gerund when it functions as a noun. Here, it's not a gerund because it functions as a verb.

I hope that helps :)

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. Please, I would like to ask something.
I noticed that I use THOUGH, ALTHOUGH and EVEN THOUGH before subjects. But what is the rule to use IN SPIT OF?

Hi JohnnyMG,

In spite of is followed by a noun, pronoun or gerund, without a main verb (i.e. not a clause). :)

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

The train was cancelled. In spite of that, we arrived on time.
we said that after "although" we put a subject and in this phrase we put the subject after " in spit of " so how we can make the difference.

Hi diamanta7,

Although needs to have a subject and a verb after it (i.e. a full clause). But in spite of just needs a noun or pronoun, without a verb.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
could please let me know if these sentences are grammatically right

Even though connecting ideas is a bit confusing, I'll try hard to master it.

Despite the hard work he did, he failed to pass the exam.

Despite of having the necessary qualifications and skills, I wasn't hired for that position.

The problem still persists although they told that it was fixed.

thanks in advance.

Hi Maahir,

The first two sentences are correct :)

Sentence 3 should be Despite having ... or In spite of having ... (not Despite of, which is not a correct form).

Sentence 4 needs to add the object of told: ... although they told me/us that ...

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

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