'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 ,Everyone

I am new member here.I want to study English.But i dont know how to start.Can u help me...thanks

Hello Sango!

 

Welcome to LearnEnglish! To get the best out of our website, see it as a library – just borrow whatever interests you! A good place to start is our Elementary Podcasts. These are short radio shows about different topics. To help your listening, vocabulary and grammar, you can listen to them, read the transcripts, and do the exercises. You can talk to other learners in the comments, too. There is lots of other material in our Listen and Watch section as well. If you want to work on grammar, take a look at our grammar section.

 

Don't forget that we also have a search box. Put a topic you're interested in into the box – like 'meeting people' or 'the present simple' - and you'll get a list of pages about that topic.

 

We have a lot of different levels on the site, so don't worry if something is too hard – find something easier, and come back to it later. Just try to look at something every day!

 

Hope that helps,

 

Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi everyone, i'm new here and i need your helps. How can i download the listening files ?

Hello ebbrusahin!

 

Which listening files did you want to download? There aren't any on this page!

 

To download files, find the download link. If you have a look at this Elementary Podcast page, you'll see a link that says Download. Click on that for the file.

On some of the pages, you will need to right click on the link. Click with your mouse so you get a menu on the link, and choose 'Save as...' and that will let you download the file.

Let me know if you have any problems!


Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

I've just seen your answer, thank you very much :) Now, I got the listening files in my pc. Could you tell me about watching files? Can we also download them?

Hello Ebrusahin!

 

If you want to watch videos like our Word on the Street episodes, you should be able to watch them on the page. For copyright reasons, most of our videos are not available for download, I'm afraid - sorry about that!

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Mr. Jeremy,

I appreciate your encourage to us towards the English learning, I am a new user over here.
I have a bit doubt about this sentence, could you please do me a favor to resolve this doubt:
•" We enjoyed our camping holiday in spite of the rain"
Can we use this sentence like this “we enjoyed our holiday camping in spite of the rain".
Please guide me.
Regards,

Hello umoshin!

 

Thanks for your kind words - I try my best!

In answer to your question, in the first sentence, camping is used as an adjective to describe holiday. This is the normal order. We do sometime use holiday as an adjective (as in holiday break) so the second order is grammatically OK, but not as usual as the first one.

Hope that helps! 

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

 

Hi! Could you please advise if the expression "still waters run deep" has a negative or positive meaning? In the web I read that it's normally used to mean that a person who looks quiet and shy can actually have some deep thoughts and be quite passionate and it looks like that's positive. I also read that in the past it had a meaning that quiet and silent people can be dangerous - but does it have the same negative connotation now? And if not, are there any expressions / idioms which are normally used to describe someone who looks quiet but is actually crazy and / or dangerous? Thanks!

Hello anoush.m!

 

That's an interesting question! I would say that it is usually positive. In English, 'deep' used for people usually means complex and wise, whereas shallow is almost always negative. Its negative meaning (and the image itself) comes from the fact that a deep river might look still, but in fact the current is very strong - which makes the river dangerous. As you say, this is less common these days. 

The only expression I can think of right now is "It's always the quiet ones..." which is short for something like "It's always the quiet ones... you have to watch/who will surprise you". People often say it after a quiet, shy person does something terrible (or amazing!)

Hope that helps!

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, One of my teacher told me that....( There is a radio and a sofa.) is incorrect. I can't five my answers here. Can you help me! Thank you very much!!

Hello mimi-516 (and Szalmavirág)!

Actually, when a singular noun (a radio) comes straight after a verb, we often use the singular verb form, even if there are other nouns later in the phrase.

If there are 2 radios, we change the verb:
There are 2 radios and a sofa.

Hope that helps!

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Ghulam!

 

The important part of learning any language is to keep working on it. Practicing writing is difficult without a teacher, but you can always try to write sentences. Many of my students like to keep a diary. Also, you can write to other learners on LearnEnglish - this will let you practice sharing your ideas. Find a subject on the website you are interested in, and join in the discussion!

Also, remember that one of the best ways of improving your writing is to read as much as you can! This will help your grammar and vocabulary without you noticing. Why not try some of our Stories & Poems?

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello aya nohamed!

 

Well, you've come to the right site! We have lots of things to help you practice your English listening. A good place to start is our Elementary Podcasts. These are short radio shows about different subjects. You can read the transcripts and do the exercises to help you understand the show. If you prefer a drama, you could try our radio soap opera, Big City Small World. To get the most out of them, try listening once without looking at the transcript, and don't worry about understanding every word. Then listen to them again. Try listening to something every day for the best progress!

 

As for pronunciation, that will get better if you keep listening! We also have a pronunciation course coming soon, so keep an eye out for that.

 

Hope that helps, and have fun on the site!

 

Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello parthasamal!

 

You'll find some general advice about improving fluency in my reply to shihiabs, below. However, to make yourself sound more British, you should try to find material that is from the UK. This means watching programs from the BBC, or using our listening materials - almost all of which have British accents. I shouldn't worry too much, though; sounding completely British usually means you have spent a long time in the UK, and in most cases isn't really necessary!

Good luck!

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

The only way to improve spoken english is SPEAKING. SPEAKING and SPEAKING. Lot of speaking will make you comfortable with the language. There is no rocket science involved in speaking fluently, but one needs to keep practising. I know a lot of people, who is not very much comfortable with the language initially, because their mothertounge was differnent, but thay have gained tremendous commond over the language with lots of practices. So please keep speaking.

Regards....

 

Thank you for the suggestion,,, I got really nervous or intimidated sometimes when speaking in english, and sometimes I cannot find the right words to say what I wanted to say...

Hello shihiabs!

Improving speaking is very important, and 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 questions, go to a site like www.vocaroo.com, record your answers, and then 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!

 

JeremyBee
The LearnEnglish Team

 

I have always encountered a problem if I going  to the other sites could anybody please kindly help me to fix these kind of bugs on my computer or the website am I looking is the problem?.  Hope that this will solve to just to help me in these kind of activities. Thank you very much English team.

Hello amasijo!

 

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 your own e-mail or ask for personal information from others. This is to protect all our users!

 

We're looking at ways to make it easier for learners to talk to each other, and you are welcome to join the conversation in the 'comments' section of each page – our Elementary Podcasts often have lots of comments!

 

Have fun, and enjoy the website!

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

add me in whatsapp ...my number is xxxxxxxxxxxx (singapore) .

let's learn english together. ^.^

Hello Ainul!

 

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 your own e-mail or ask for personal information from others. This is to protect all our users! We're looking at ways to make it easier for learners to talk to each other, and you are welcome to join the conversation in the 'comments' section of each page – our Elementary Podcasts often have lots of comments!

 

Have fun, and enjoy the website!

 

Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Bee,

I want to improve my writing skills. Can you help me, how to improve it in effective manner ? Many people say that I need to keep writing, but if someone is not correcting my mistake, how would be I able to know my mistakes ? So I request you to help me by suugesting me my writing mistakes or can you suggest few softwares/websites where I can get checked my writing ?

 

Thanks,

Amit

Hello amitkumarwadia!

Improving writing without help is difficult, and unfortunately we get too many responses on LearnEnglish for me to be able to give you personal help.

However, if you use to Microsoft Word or a similar writing program, you may find the grammar checking function useful. There is a lot of writing advice on the internet, and there are a few writing checkers - but it is better to be able to spot your own mistakes. One useful tip is to leave a piece of writing for a couple of days if you can before looking at it again; you will be more objective that way.

Remember that one of the best ways of improving your writing is to read as much as you can! This will help your grammar and vocabulary without you noticing. 

Hope that helps!

Regards

 

JeremyBee

The LearnEnglish Team 

Hello zimal!

To improve your vocabulary, keep track of new words. When you are reading, make a note of new words that you think are useful – but try not to learn too many at once! You can use our word book app to help, or you can use a notebook. Keep the book with you, and look at it every day. Try to write or say sentences with the new words. You can do this with classmates, or even in the comments sections here. The most important thing is to keep at it!

 

Regards

 

Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

hello freinds,

I want to improve my English knowledge,I think everyone will help me.

Hellow Teachers and friends,

I am a new user for this website, I want to improve my English for vocabulary, grammer and also to speak english (conversation).  I dont know even to write a letter.  Please, I hope you can help me and May GOD will help you too.

Thank you.

Shanifa Duma

Hello! i'm new in this web site want to learn english. Friends Help me & suggest me to speak in english fluently

 

i am also like you. i also want to improve my speaking skill in english.so whay don't we practise together on skype? if you want to do that,  we can talk to each other.

 

Got 100% in this test. I am new here but pretty anxious about the ielts test. I going to take in January, before going to take the test I am preparing myself for it so that I can get higher band.

Hi! I find this website very helpful...and I have a question I hope someone can help me. One of my students asked about the correct use of have or take breakfast and I know "take" is unusual. Yesterday I found information about this and it says that "take breakfast" is old -fashioned English or in some literature people use this verb. Please help me find a way to explain this.

Hello friends :)

I am also new here! But I hope I will learn by fun! And wish you the same:D

Hi everyone,

I'm also a newcomer. ı want to improve my english. Although ı study alot, somethings are going wrong. ı cant speak english. Can anybody help me?  

Hi Merve. İ'm Onur and new here. İ want to improve to speak English. İf you want to speak English with me, you can reply this message. Maybe we can help to ourselves.

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