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'in spite of', 'despite', 'although', 'even though' and 'though'

Do you know how to connect two contrasting ideas?

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

Nivel de idioma

Intermediate: B1

Comments

Even though I practise English an hour per day i haven't seem a greater progress on my language knowledge. I guess i would need to double the time.
I'm making an effort on giving an aproppiate comment despite my incomplete studies of the english grammar.
Despite of the fact i've studied English at high school and in an Institute i've acknowlegded still need to practise some areas of grammar.

Dispite the fact you didn't ask me to comment this time, i am doing it. And in spite of that i am planning to do it again!

Although i've already made my useful comment below i am doing a second one, i told you...

Now, Even though i've already made 2 comments as i am super bored i am doing a third one, i hope you understand.

It seems that this guy has nothing to do with his life, was pretty creative, though.

Although i didn't have enough time, I read your comment.
I read each sentences even though they weren't super exciting.
Despite the fact you are not trying to be funny, comments are really funny. And in spite of that i am trying to reply.

Although I have no time too, I would like to comment in order to do some practice. Despite being my first time using this words, I actually feel comfortable with them. We may be doing another thing, though.
Even though I am finishing this letter, I hope I had understood it all.
In spite of the fact that I can be writing untill eternity, I have to finish for obvious reasons...

Is there a rule when to use inspite of / despite? Or we could just choose whatever we want when constructing sentences? Same question with although and even though.

Hello flower_dem,

I think despite and in spite of (three words, not one as in your question) are interchangeable; you can use either without it making any difference.

I would say that even though is stronger than although. It signals a more extreme contrast.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Although i studied high school in English language,i still have some difficulties in some areas.

Why can't I say "Despite she has a job, she is unhappy"

Hello AdrianH,

'Despite' needs to be followed by a direct object. This can be a noun or a gerund (verb-ing).

You could say this:

Despite having a job, she is unhappy.

Despite the fact that she has a job, she is unhappy.

 

Alternatively, you could use a different linking device:

Although she has a job, she is unhappy.

Even though she has a job, she is unhappy.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much Mr. Peter, your explanation helped me a lot.

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