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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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

Hello sir,
Please help me !
What is the different usage between "although" and "despite the fact that" when showing contrast. I am really confused about it because both of them are used with clause. Please explain. Thanks in advance.

Hello Protam Kumar Dutta,

There is no difference in terms of what follows each of these:

I passed the exam, although I had not revised.

I passed the exam, despite the fact that I had not revised.

The difference is in the formality and strength of the items. Although is neutral and can be used in both informal and formal contexts. Despite the fact that (and the similar in spirt of the fact that) tend to be used in more formal contexts and are more common in written than spoken English.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

Although, is the most common isnt' it? It's a good and polite way to right a business e-mail or talk with friends?

Thanks,
Dayse

Hello Dayse,

Of these three linkers I would say that 'although' and its alternative 'though' are the most common. These are neutral words with regard to formality so they can be used in both formal and informal communication.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

May you explain more "despite being bitten"
Why we must use being ..

And it is "Despite the fact of" or "Despite the fact that" or bothe are right ?

Hell Mariam32,

After 'despite' we use a noun or a gerund, which is a noun formed from a verb by adding -ing. 'Being' is a gerund.

We usually say 'Despite the fact that...' (followed by a subject and verb).

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear English Team,

I have English sound Issue.I do not speak English clearly. It is very difficult for other people to comprehend with me . How can I over come these issue myself? Kindly give tips.

With Warms Regards,
Suraj Kumar

Hello Suraj Kumar,

I think the best thing would be to work with a teacher. If there's a British Council near you, that might be a place where you could find an appropriate class.

Otherwise, I'd suggest you use the audio and/or video materials in Listen & Watch. For example, you could use Elementary Podcasts. Listen to an episode and then try to imitate the pronunciation as best you can. It's important to proceed slowly in the beginning - your mouth will probably feel uncomfortable, but with practise, this strange feeling should diminish and it should become easier to pronounce. The Cambridge Dictionary, which has recordings of the pronunciation of most of its entries, could also be really useful.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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