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.


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.





Hello dear Kirk,
I'm sorry if I'm taking your time, but I've found this definition for 'Although' in longman entry : "conjunction used when contrasting one clause with another in the same sentence." it is said contrasting, but as you said not for Contrasting . I'm confused ! I'll be fully appreciate if you can help me with this point.

best regards

Hello Mohsen.k77,

You're right, that's confusing – my apologies. Let me explain this better now. 'although' is for a contrast, a surprise or unexpected thing, or something which made another thing less likely or possible. 'whereas' just compares/contrasts different things, it doesn't suggest one influences the other. For example:

I left the umbrella at home although it was raining. ('although' = in spite of the fact that the rain makes the decision odd/unusual/less likely)

I left my umbrella at home whereas Bob took his. ('whereas' contrasts two different events/decisions/facts but they don't influence one another)

The key is that 'although' shows a surprising connection, whereas 'whereas' just holds two things up and says 'look, they're different'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


Hello dears,
as it is said above "After although we use a subject and a verb."
here i have an example from longman dictionary: "Although in poor health, she continued to carry out her duties." is that correct although there isn't a subject in the first part?

and my second question is about the differences between "Although" and "whereas"
#the handset I have received is purple,.......... the one in the advert is blue.
the book's answer is whereas, why although is not correct in this example?

thanks a lot

Hello Mohsen.k77,

That's very observant of you – good work! The example from the dictionary is a case of ellipsis (omitting words), which is a complex topic that we don't go into here. In most situations, the rule that a subject and verb are necessary after 'although' is true, so I'd encourage you to follow it, despite this exception.

'whereas' is used to compare two contrasting points, whereas 'although' is not used in this way. I'd suggest you compare the examples you can find in the dictionary entry for the two words.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! Everyone,

I’d like to know if the following sentences I have written are grammatically correct.

I believe the first one is correct. As for the second one, I’ve no idea if it’s right although -ing can also be used after “despite/in spite of”.

1) Although the police have spent a lot of effort on fighting against crimes, the rate of crime has still been on the rise.

2) Despite/In spite of the police having spent a lot of effort on fighting against crimes, the rate of crime has still been on the rise.

3) Despite/In spite of the great effort made on fighting against crimes by the police, the rate of crime has still been on the rise.

I would be grateful if you would get back to me at your earliest convenience.

Hello bnpl,

All of those sentences are fine apart from the word 'crimes', which should be singular ('crime') as we are talking about crime in general rather than specific instances.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.


what is the difference between 'in spite of' and 'instead of' ?

Hello Asadullah Shirazi,

As this page says, in spite of is used to show a contrast. We use instead of to show that one option was used to replace or as an alternative to another. For example:

I had coffee this morning in spite of feeling a little sick.

I felt sick so I had tea this morning instead of coffee.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

differentiate these sentences and help me find the answer for this.

1.i wish i would do
2.i would learn english when i was a child.
my understanding is 'would'used here represents different time but has same meaning.
if i am wrong,please help.