'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

Language level

Intermediate: B1

Hi Riyadh,

Welcome to LearnEnglish!  I hope you have a great time here and improve your English with us.  Please remember the House Rules, however: we ask all members not to post personal information like email addresses, facebook or Skype names and so on.

Thank you and best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hi every one,i am  dee,and i am  a new member here,please help me to learn to english..thank you all

Hi Dee,

I see that you are from Indonesia....What a coincidence...I am from Indonesia too, but I have lived in The Netherlands since the last couple of years.

I was born and grew up in Papua. What part of Indonesia are you from?

Hiii.. I also wanna be fluent in english.. I dn't have anyone to speak to in english.. I donot knw what to do ..

Hello cutie priya!

 

Practising your English with no-one around can be tricky, but here are a few suggestions.

  • Use the comments section here to practice grammar and vocabulary. It's writing, but still useful.
  • Try to record yourself. Choose some of the discussion questions and go to a site like www.vocaroo.com, record your answers,  and playback your recording – what mistakes did you make? What do you like about your answer?
  • Keep listening to our recordings. One of the best ways to improve speaking... is listening!
  • Finally, remember you don't have to have a native speaker to talk to. Maybe a friend or colleague wants to talk English – ask around, and find someone who wants to practice.

 

Good luck, and keep working on it!

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

yes, if we have any interactive session like group discussion with mentor. It would be great.

Hello Ridham!

 

Please remember our house rules ask you not to share or ask for personal information like Skype IDs on LearnEnglish. Why not chat in the comments section here, so other learners can join in?

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Guys, It's very difficult this subject " in spite of / despite / although" Can I have some more exercises for practise, please. ( I've tried to get my head round it, thanks)

Hello, i'm Quyết my facebook is Quyết Quỷ with my mail is *********@*******.com. I want to add friends and chat with every body to improve my English...hihi

please reply then...we have....thanks !

Hello Quyết Quỷ!

 

Welcome to LearnEnglish! We're happy that you want to talk to other learners on the website, but please remember that our house rules ask you not to share or ask for personal information – and this includes Skype details. This is to protect all our users! We're looking at ways to make it easier for learners to talk to each other, but for now, please practice your English by leaving messages for other learners in the comments section of each page.

 

Enjoy the rest of the site!

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Jeremy Bee you are just doing a fantastic job .. yes i'm here as in i want to improve my english as well .. problem with me is that i'm not confident enough to speak english in front of others .. tell me what to do to improve my speaking skills ??  

Hello everyone  I'm new here can anyone help me ....tell me how this site would be helpful for me.How can i practice here to improve my English ..Please reply Thanks!

Hi Anita, It's a good website, you can learn  "english-grammar" and more with the help of this website " http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/past-tense" just follow this link, you will find lotes of help to improve ur english.

Hello all!

 

We really like it when students want to practice their English together and find out about people in different parts of the world. That's why we have comment sections on almost all of our pages – so you can talk to other students!

 

However, please remember our house rules ask you not to share personal information or ask for them from others, including Skype and whatsapp details. This is to protect you and everyone else who uses our site.

 

Why not ask each other questions right here?

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone!

I am not sure about the sentence and hope you can help me:

Like every night you cannot decide between to save your money and staying awake the whole night or spending your money for a night in a hostel. 

I am looking forward to your help!

Hello,

I'm not quite sure what you are asking! Is this a sentence you wrote or a sentence you read? Do you want people to explain it or tell you if it's good English?

Best wishes,

Adam

The LearnEnglish Team

I believe you have a problem with parallel structure, it should be:

Like every night you cannot decide between saving your money and staying awake the whole night or spending your money for a night in a hostel.

or

 ..........between to save your money and to stay awake .....

or to spend......

When you have a conjunction (and, or, but) you must use the same structure (ing or infinitive) before and after the conjuction.  

I hope this helps.

Hello Jing93 and Rosmaria!

 

That's a great answer, Rosmaria, and thank you for taking the time to help another student! Just one thing, though - decide between is followed by a noun or v-ing, not to + verb. Your first example is correct, but the second one is not - although you might use to + verb with other structures.

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

 

 

hi every one, i am new comer and i am very happy to see your comment. please help me to learn better and help me to find good friends like you!

 

hello,everyone, I am new here,nice to meet you all.

I got a full score although I have not using english for several years. 

study is very important.

greetings :) i'm new here lol

 so many users here, but i think korean is not in here. haha

btw, Nice to meet you all!  

Hello, English learner team. I join today and really relaxing with learning English here even though articles are difficult for me. There is a lot of explanation to help us to learn deply. I also checed all comments here I saw Jermmy Bee. I guess he is a teacher. I appreciate you Jermmy because of your help to students. I read your comments for new members. I hope you can help me to improve my English.

 

Best wishes,

Gulmira

Uzbekistan

Hello Gulmira,

Jeremy is a member of the LearnEnglish team (like me) - we're British Council staff who run this website. We try to help, but we also need learners to help each other!

Best wishes,

Adam

The LearnEnglish Team

hello everybody i am a new user.i want to improve my English skill. please help me.

 

 

Hi every body. I am new here. i want to improve my speaking skill but i dont know what to do now. please help me. Thanks

Hello chintale!

 

Welcome to LearEnglish!

 

Well, if you can, the best way to improve speaking is to join a class - perhaps you could try the British Council in Vietnam. If you're studying on your own, working on speaking can be difficult. However, here are a few suggestions to help you improve.
 

  • Use the comments section here to practice grammar and vocabulary. It's writing, but still useful.
  • Try to record yourself. Choose some of the discussion questions and go to a site like www.vocaroo.com, record your answers, and playback your recording – what mistakes did you make? What do you like about your answer?
  • Keep listening to our recordings. One of the best ways to improve speaking... is listening!
  • Finally, remember you don't have to have a native speaker to talk to. Maybe a friend or colleague wants to talk English – ask around, and find someone who wants to practice.

 

Good luck, and keep working on it!

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

 

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