'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 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

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Language level

Hi! I need your help. I read a sentence: Despite enjoying working with her peers Which v-ing functions as the noun?

Hello jojo1708,

I'm not an expert at syntax or parsing sentences – that's not really our purpose here at LearnEnglish – but I'd say that both 'enjoying' and 'working' are verbal nouns. But if I had to choose one, I'd say 'working', as the object of 'enjoying'.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

Which one is right? Please explain. Government's duty OR Duty of government

Hello Arvind Kumar Singh,

Both are correct, and have the same meaning. The second is perhaps more formal and more likely in formal writing.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello dear Peter, I'm so sorry I didn't know this point that I must just ask about the materials on the page,however, my previous question was about the materials (Although) mentioned on this page but I didn't get help ! anyway, thanks a lot for your valuable team work here, I've learnt a lot from you and your friends. best regards, Mohsen
Hello everyone, " Bored with the grown-up conversation, little Amy fell asleep under the kitchen table." could you please help me with finding the complete subject and the complete predicate in this sentence. Best wishes Mohsen

Hello Mohsen.k77,

I'm afraid we don't help with questions such as this from homework or other similar tasks. Our focus is on helping users with the material on the site and with some questions about language, but not doing these kinds of tasks.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

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 Mohsen

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

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

Hi, 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.

Hello Nandishchandra,

Our will or would and past habit pages explain 'would' in some detail - please read through the explanations there. After that, if this is still unclear to you, please feel free to ask us again, but please tell us how you differentiate the sentences so we can see how you understand them. Finally, please ask your question on one of those pages so that other users can find your question and our answers there.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Message: 1) He had (great) amount of money but he was not (happy). 2) This room was( tiny). 3) There were (numerous) animals in that (dense) forest. 4) The little child slept in a (small) cot. Please tell me which adjectives are Qualitative and which are Quantitative in the given brackets.

Hello Nilesh,

Why don't you tell us what you think? Then we can help you with the parts that you don't understand. And if this is homework, you should do it yourself - otherwise you won't learn from it.

Please also ask your question on an appropriate page - for example, the adjectives page.

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi LearnEnglish Team, May I know whether we should put a comma before 'although' in the following sentences? 1) We enjoyed our camping holiday although it rained every day. 2) The holiday was great although the hotel wasn’t very nice. Thank you in advance.
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?
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

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

Hello Alan Teddy,

The sentence needs changing somewhat. After 'in spite of' we need a noun or a gerund (-ing form). I would guess that the order of the clauses should be reversed as well, as the market share is probably the surprising result, even though there it little advertising.

'In spite doing very little advertising, the company has a very big market share.'

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team



With taking in our consideration the grammatical difference in the following sentence of each of in spite of / despite / although;and after I looked for their meaning in the dictionary can I say that there is no difference between them in the meaning except it`s prefer to use despite and although in the beginning of the sentence and although is stronger than despite?.


Best Wishes 



Hi Safaa,

As you say, there are differences in how these words are used in sentences, with despite and in spite of followed by nouns and although followed by a subject and verb.  In terms of meaning they are very similar, all showing a contrast between two pieces of information.  Despite and in spite of are, to my ear, a little stronger and a little more formal, and slightly less common in spoken English than although.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello friends I am joining now to learn English family, I hope your help me in learning English. 

Hi eeryone don't know how to practice in the website. Please tell me? Thanks in advance.
Hi Parul, Example: On menu take the cursor to Grammar & Vocab then Eng. Grammar, Quick Grammar etc. will appear. Click any of them then do the lesson & exec. Enjoy !!
Hello Paul, Welcome to LearnEnglish! Use the links at the top of the page (Home/Listen & Watch/Grammar & Vocabulary etc) to go to different parts of the site and you'll find a wide range of exercises, materials, games and much more to help you with your English. Try different things to see what is most helpful for you. Remember that you can always use the comments sections on each page if you have any questions or comments. Best wishes, Peter The LearnEnglish Team
Hello, I have some questions, Are "Despite" and "in spite of" exactly the same in meaning? Are there some defference?
Hi Michiko, There is no difference in meaning between "despite" and "in spite of". If you look them up in the Cambridge Dictionaries Online (see the search box on the right), you'll see that they mean the same thing. Best wishes, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team
Hi, I need you help, can you help me? I have two versions of one sentence and I don't know which one is correct: - I wish I did not go to school tomorrow. - I wish I would not go to school tomorrow. Thank you
Hi Julia11122, You have correctly used a past form after 'wish' to describe a hypothetical situation, but I'm afraid neither of those sentences is correct! The problem with the first one is that it needs a phrase telling us that you don't have the choice of not going, otherwise the 'wish' doesn't make sense because you could just choose not to go! You would need to say: 'I wish I didn't have to go to school tomorrow' or 'I wish I could not go to school tomorrow' / 'I wish I could stay at home tomorrow' I hope that clarifies it for you. Best wishes Peter The LearnEnglish Team
I did go to the future continuous and future perfect page as suggested. There was either no comment section, or I was not able to locate one. Will wait for your comments.
Hello, Thanks for telling us - I've now changed that page so you can leave comments there. Apologies for the problem. Best wishes, Adam The LearnEnglish Team
Thank you! I have placed my question at the comment section of "Future Perfect and Future Continuous".

Although I understand "Past and "Present"  perfect continuous tenses, I am not very sure about "Future perfect continuous" sentences.  Can you explain the basic rules for the same, or refer me to a section (if it already exists) that deals with it. My previous question regarding the same was not clear; please ignore it.