in spite of / despite / although

In spite of, despite and although are all used to show a contrast but there are differences in the structures used with them.

In spite of / despite

After in spite of and despite we use a noun or a pronoun.

  • We enjoyed our camping holiday in spite of the rain.
  • Despite the pain in his leg he completed the marathon.
  • Despite having all the necessary qualifications, they didn’t offer me the job.

Remember that the gerund (‘-ing’ form) is the ‘noun’ form of a verb.

The only difference between in spite of and despite is the ‘of’.

  • Despite of the bad weather, there was a large crowd at the match.

Although

After although we use a subject and a verb.

  • We enjoyed our camping holiday although it rained every day.
  • Although he worked very hard, he didn’t manage to pass the exam.
  • The holiday was great although the hotel wasn’t very nice.

We can use in spite of and despite with a subject and verb if we include the expression ‘the fact that’.

  • In spite of the fact that he worked very hard, he didn’t manage to pass the exam.
  • Despite the fact that he worked very hard, he didn’t manage to pass the exam.

Even though

Even though is a slightly stronger form of although.

  • We decided to buy the house even though we didn’t really have enough money.
  • You keep making that stupid noise even though I’ve asked you to stop three times.

Like although, even though is followed by a subject and a verb.

 

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thank you very much

I couldn't find the article on phrases of reason so please accept my apologise for posting on this topic. I ave a question regarding phrase: Because of
" Mary will not walk across the bridge because she is afraid of heights"
Can I rewrite it as: Mary will not walk across the bridge because of HER BEING afraid of heights"
OR " Mary will not walk across the bridge because of her fear of heights"
It seems like the later sounds more natural but I want to know if the earlier sentence is also correct. thank you.

Hello Widescreen,

Yes, both of the sentences you suggest are correct. You're also right that the second one is much more natural.

Perhaps you meant this page? In any case, no worries.

Good work!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hey,
The essay says "After in spite of and despite we use a noun or a pronoun.", and l have no questions about it, but l am really confused by that sentence -- It was recognized that despite the English learning programs designed to equip migrants with the language… Is it wrong? Because we can only use noun or pronoun after despite, but it used the verb-ed "designed", so could you please help me to figure out the question?
looking forword to the replay.

Hello Berrymay,

In your example we have a long noun phrase, which functions just as a one-word noun would. In terms of the sentence the noun phrase is a group of words which act together as a grammatical unit - a subject or an objet, for example. In your example the noun phrase is 'the English learning programs designed to equip migrants with the language'. You can see this because the whole noun phrase could be used as the subject of a verb:

The English learning programs designed to equip migrants with the language are great.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Peter, thanks a lot, l have got it. But...there is another question. "Over half of the solicitors and barristers survey indicated that many of their non-English speaking clients were accompanied by a friend or relative who could assist the inetrpreting." Is there any mistake in this sentence? I am doing error correction, and it is difinitely difficult for me, could you help me to correct the sentence? Please~ thanks, thanks, thanks!

Hello Berrymay,

I'm afraid we don't provide help with exercises and tests from outside of our pages. These are for you to do! If we start offering a service to do our users' tests or homework for them then we will have no time for anything else!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Ok, got it. Anyway, thanks a lot~

You say
despite being bitten
is correct because despite can be followed by a gerund.
But what about this one?
I enjoy living in the town centre, despite being so noisy
According to my grammar it is not correct.

Hello JHE,

The problem with the sentence is that in the way it is constructed there really needs to be a clause after 'despite'. You could do this by saying 'the fact that' after 'despite' (which is similar to 'que' in 'a pesar de que' in Spanish): 'I enjoy living in the centre, despite the fact that it is so noisy.' Or, even better, you could just remove the -ing form and 'so': 'I enjoy living in the centre despite the noise'. Except in some very specific context, this means exactly the same thing.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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