'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 (4 votes)

Submitted by GKALU on Mon, 03/08/2020 - 19:15

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Although i studied high school in English language,i still have some difficulties in some areas.

Submitted by AdrianH on Mon, 27/07/2020 - 16:28

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Why can't I say "Despite she has a job, she is unhappy"

Hello AdrianH,

'Despite' needs to be followed by a direct object. This can be a noun or a gerund (verb-ing).

You could say this:

Despite having a job, she is unhappy.

Despite the fact that she has a job, she is unhappy.

 

Alternatively, you could use a different linking device:

Although she has a job, she is unhappy.

Even though she has a job, she is unhappy.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much Mr. Peter, your explanation helped me a lot.

Submitted by Samir.drm on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 12:10

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Although it was raining, they completed the game.
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Submitted by Salum Hilali on Wed, 22/07/2020 - 15:56

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Although I'am a beginner,I have scored 100%

Submitted by NEBANECHE on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 16:16

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I'm very satisfied with my score in both Grammar Tests. I scored a hundred percent. However, I think it's a little too cheap.

Submitted by Prince Edward on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 21:06

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Even though I was not on line these two last days, I've done my best to be connected today.

Submitted by Allate on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 19:51

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These grammar lessons are very useful for revising our grammar. Although and even though mean the same.Despite and in spite of mean he same, we can replace one by the other without changing the meaning of the sentence.