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.
It's illegal to use mobile phones while driving. People still do it, though.
Try this exercise to test your grammar.
Read the explanation to learn more.
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 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.
Yes, in these sentences though has a meaning similar to but or however. (But notice that it has a different position in the sentence.)
Though shows a contrast with something. For example, in the first sentence, six hours to wait is a long time and may be boring. But we can see that person B doesn't mind, which contrasts with what person A thinks.
Does that make sense?
The LearnEnglish Team