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

Do you know how to connect two contrasting ideas with words like although and despite? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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

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Average: 5 (3 votes)

Submitted by Dousambou on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 14:43

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Despite the coronavirus spread, school reopened in Senegal

Submitted by Birane on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 12:29

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These exercises both make me more confident in my grammar teaching. It's very relevant. Thanks a lot.

Submitted by Saamongo on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 11:49

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Despite the fact that i am a teacher, I hate grammar lessons. It's too boring and even though I teach English, I never tried grammar because it's difficult.

Submitted by Saamongo on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 11:34

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I enjoy doing this kind of exercice with students. It helps them think a lot.

Submitted by djibdouk on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 09:43

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I would like to buy a car, even though l haven’t got much money. English is more important than others language, In spite of it take me many times to learn it.

Submitted by Mikael321 on Thu, 16/07/2020 - 04:53

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Even though I hate tennis, I’m going to watch the final. Although I hate tennis, I’m going to watch the final. Despite the fact I hate tennis, I’m going to watch the final. I’m going to watch the final, in spite of hating tennis.

Submitted by Dastenova Firuza on Sun, 12/07/2020 - 10:28

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Even though I think my grammar is excellent, I had problems with grammar rules of despite, although and even though. Despite my tryings, I made some mistakes.

Submitted by Alaa El Baddini on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 09:12

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(although/despite) running his business is risky, he loves it

Hello Alaa El Baddini

'although' is correct here. To use 'despite', it would be better to say 'Despite the fact that running his business is risky'. Saying 'Despite running' sounds unnatural because of the clause with a verb that follows it.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team