'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

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

Submitted by nazmulhaqsmsa on Mon, 15/11/2021 - 07:37

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in spite of being a good teacher, I will help the student.

This sentence is incorrect. Because the two phrases have no overlap.
You can say something like "in spite of not having much free time, I still help my students.

Submitted by NamPHAN on Sun, 07/11/2021 - 05:07

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Although my English is at a pre-intermediate level, I always try to speak English fluently.

Thanks to the LearnEnglish team, people over the world could learn English more easily.

Submitted by Md.Habibullah on Tue, 24/08/2021 - 05:58

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Despite being less thrilling, I like the bus journey. Despite being a great virtue in private life, love doesn't work in public life. Could you tell me about the tense that has been used in the aforementioned sentences?

Hello Md.Habibullah,

There is only one tense used in each sentence:

Despite being less thrilling, I like the bus journey.

Despite being a great virtue in private life, love doesn't work in public life.

The underlined verbs are present simple forms.

In the first sentence the present simple is used to express a preference or emotion; we use present simple for this rather than continous.

In the second sentence the present simple is used to describe something which is generally true.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by RIma0987u on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 13:19

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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

Submitted by RIma0987u on Thu, 08/04/2021 - 13:03

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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

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Submitted by JohnnyMG on Fri, 26/03/2021 - 18:02

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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?