'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 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

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Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by pablito on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 05:41

In reply to by Jonathan R

Hi, but the first sentence says: connecting... is a gerund so why she didn't use Despite or in spite of....gerund followed by a subject (or noun)

Hi pablito,

Good question :) It's because there's not only a gerund in the clause. There's a verb phrase too (underlined): Even though connecting ideas is a bit confusing, ... . After Even though, we need to put a subject and a verb phrase. A gerund can function as a subject.


After Despite or In spite of, we put a gerund, noun or pronoun, without a verb phrase. So, we could say something like this, with a similar meaning:

  • Despite my confusion about connecting ideas, I'll try hard to master it. (The underlined part is a noun phrase).

Does that make sense?


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Aglaia on Tue, 02/03/2021 - 06:48

Hello, I see that "even if" is not listed, is it wrong? If it's accepted, could you tell me if it's standard English or colloquial?

Hello Aglaia,

'even if' is a bit different from 'even though' or 'although'. 'even though' refers to a real situation. For example, in the last example sentence above, the woman didn't get the job despite having the required qualifications -- we understand from this that the woman applied for the job and perhaps even had an interview.

In contrast, 'even if' typically refers to imaginary situations. So if we said 'She won't get the job even if she has the qualifications', we're imagining a situation that doesn't exist yet.

I'd suggest having a look at this one-minute video on this topic from BBC Learning English.

Hope this helps.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team


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Submitted by MARUFA MARJAN … (not verified) on Fri, 19/02/2021 - 10:54

Hello admin can you tell me how can I find topics about "as if"... Or it would be kind enough if you could help me understand the correct grammatical structure of "as if" as I'm slightly confused about it's structure...thank you in advance

Submitted by Memmedeva Nezrin on Sat, 30/01/2021 - 08:00

This is really a good explenation and I understood it well but i still have doubts on this question. ...my careful planning,we ended up staying in a really bad hotel Despite Although Even though Is it grammatically correct to use both despite and despite of in this sentence?Or we cant use despite with of?

Hi Memmedeva Nezrin,

That's right, we can't use despite with of. But, there is a similar phrase: In spite of. It means the same thing as despite, so it fits in your example sentence too.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Jonathan, I am a bit confused why we can't use despite of with the above sentence, because in the Grammar explanation it says that we can use both despite and despite of with noun, gerund(ing- verb) or pronouns. could you kindly explain it more. Thanks

Hi Maahir,

Actually, it says we can use both despite and in spite of (not despite of). Despite of is not a correct form.


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by lara05 on Thu, 28/01/2021 - 20:00

Although I don't have enough time to pratice, I do my best to do it.

Submitted by Laliaf on Fri, 11/12/2020 - 21:17

Even though I could not understand how to use the conjunctions contrasting words last year, now I find them easy to use.

Submitted by ImaneB on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 10:10

Even though it's quite complex, i understood the difference between although/even though and in spite of/despite.. However, I think that i need to practice more.
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Submitted by ceylinesp on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 17:23

Hey! Actually I cant understand that the meaning of "though" is "however". Like that: A:You have six hours in the airport between flights! B:I don’t mind, though. I have lots of work to do. I’ll just bring my laptop with me. A:It’s expensive. B:It’s nice, though. A:Yeah, I think I’ll buy it. Can you explain me the meaning of "tho" in this sentences?
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Submitted by Jonathan R on Mon, 05/10/2020 - 04:24

In reply to by ceylinesp


Hi ceylinesp,

Yes, in these sentences though has a meaning similar to but or however. (But notice that it has a different position in the sentence.)

  • I don't mind, though. = But I don't mind.
  • It's nice, though. = But it's nice.

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?

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Thanusha on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 00:05

Even though grammar english is quite complex, I start to understand those sentences structures. Despite taking lot of time and lot of work, I’m glad, I understand.

Submitted by Rorro01 on Tue, 08/09/2020 - 20:43

Even though I practise English an hour per day i haven't seem a greater progress on my language knowledge. I guess i would need to double the time. I'm making an effort on giving an aproppiate comment despite my incomplete studies of the english grammar. Despite of the fact i've studied English at high school and in an Institute i've acknowlegded still need to practise some areas of grammar.

Submitted by wilca on Mon, 10/08/2020 - 22:25

Dispite the fact you didn't ask me to comment this time, i am doing it. And in spite of that i am planning to do it again! Although i've already made my useful comment below i am doing a second one, i told you... Now, Even though i've already made 2 comments as i am super bored i am doing a third one, i hope you understand. It seems that this guy has nothing to do with his life, was pretty creative, though.
Although i didn't have enough time, I read your comment. I read each sentences even though they weren't super exciting. Despite the fact you are not trying to be funny, comments are really funny. And in spite of that i am trying to reply.
Although I have no time too, I would like to comment in order to do some practice. Despite being my first time using this words, I actually feel comfortable with them. We may be doing another thing, though. Even though I am finishing this letter, I hope I had understood it all. In spite of the fact that I can be writing untill eternity, I have to finish for obvious reasons...

Submitted by flower_dem on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 11:10

Is there a rule when to use inspite of / despite? Or we could just choose whatever we want when constructing sentences? Same question with although and even though.

Hello flower_dem,

I think despite and in spite of (three words, not one as in your question) are interchangeable; you can use either without it making any difference.

I would say that even though is stronger than although. It signals a more extreme contrast.



The LearnEnglish Team

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

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

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.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Despite the coronavirus spread, school reopened in Senegal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(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


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Claudia,

Saying 'despite running his business is risky' sounds unnatural since 'running his business is risky' is a clause. If it were just 'despite the risks of running his business' (which is not a clause because 'running' is not a finite verb), that would be OK. But if we keep the clause 'running his business is risky', it's best to say 'despite the fact that running his business is risky'. That's probably what most people would say in this situation.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Karan Narang on Mon, 22/06/2020 - 04:26

Even though I can't speak well english In spite of I am practicing to speak to better speaking.

Submitted by IrinaMB on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 10:04

Although there are always so many things to do at home on an everyday basis, I despite of that, do my study almost every evening. Even though I consider my memory as good as it should be, I have to go through learning materials the next morning for better memorising.

Submitted by Emily Mellor on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 11:25

Even though I had an umbrella, I was wet. This is because I didn't have big enough umbrella.
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Submitted by Aisha na Shadee on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 19:15

Although she finished her studies with best perfomance she still hasn't got a job. I adviced her to stop searching for a job and start thinking about business Ideas as I know employment is the biggest problem in the world.

Submitted by ohfah on Mon, 04/05/2020 - 15:15

Even though, in spite of, despite and although are all examples of subordinate conjunctions. So, you shouldn't place a comma after a subordinate clause when it comes after an independent clause in a sentence, right? This means that: I enjoyed the course, although I would have liked more grammar practice. should read: I enjoyed the course; although, I would have liked more grammar practice. There are a number of sentences with comma splices running throughout this article. Am I right here, or am I missing something? Thanks :)