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.





Thanks Kirk,

I'm a native English speaker who is trying, albeit quite late in life, to learn/understand my own language grammar rules, which isn't easy, as very often there are some curve balls thrown in.

Thanks again for your help. I'm sure your work is much appreciated by us all.


Hi Lecture

Can i ask how to improve my English ? My English were poor for skill writing, speaking, grammar, vocabulary and misunderstand meaning of sentences when I am reading new or article. However, my friend was do not know what I am talk to them? Can you guide me or give me some advise? I have intake my degree course in Singapore. Hopefully can guide me do the best way?

Hi winly,

We have a page with just this kind of advice! It's our Help page, which you can find here.

I hope that answers your question.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

I answered all questions correctly.

I'm sometimes confused between gerunds and participles so i try to follow these rules strictly even then I'm sometimes confused by the people around me. latest confusion being;
In spite of arriving late he was allowed to enter the exam room.
A very senior teacher said that it is not a gerund but a participle. I tried showing her this forum but she said 'in spite of doing what...' because of 'doing' it's participle. please help.

Hi hanabee,

I've always understood that prepositions (such as 'of' in 'in spite of') are followed be nouns or verbal nouns (gerunds), but whatever you want to call them, present participles and gerunds have the same form (verb+ing) in English. Here at LearnEnglish we focus on practical issues needed to learn to use the language and don't go into such issues too much. Nor do we comment on other teachers' or sites' explanations, I'm afraid.

Good luck!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

thanks so much for the important excersices

I have been here for a long time , and I have got a lot off things , Thanks Neil.

I want to improve my English well, but im not good in grammar.


Could you tell me if this sentence is correct? "In spite of the company have a big market share they do very little advertising."


Alan Teddy