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

Do you know how to connect two contrasting ideas with words like although and despite? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

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

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Submitted by achachou on Thu, 10/11/2022 - 11:58

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1a. The lawyer called the police. The thief escaped.
b. Despite the lawyer calling the police, the thief escaped.

I'd like to know if the use of DESPITE is correct. Thanks.

Submitted by Sihem2022 on Sun, 16/10/2022 - 17:11

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thanks
is this sentence correct with though at the end of the sentence?
i am studing english every single day, i don't perceive any progress, though.

Hello Sihem2022,

Yes, 'though' can be used like this and its use here is correct. I'd recommend breaking this sentence up into two, though: 'I am studying English every day. I don't see any progress, though.'

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Hoanghai on Mon, 03/10/2022 - 09:47

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Hi Jonathan, Thank you for your very useful lesson!
Would you please show me where can I do more exercises on this grammar topic?
Thank you!

Hello Hoanghai,

I'm sure we have a few other exercises that cover this grammar, at least in part, but I'm afraid I'm not sure where! I'd recommend that you do an internet search for "although, even though, in spite of and despite exercises". I expect you can find several pages where you can practice some or all of these expressions.

I'm sorry I can't give you more specific advice!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Jo_Jaz on Sun, 25/09/2022 - 09:07

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Sentence 1: Despite his disappointment, John smiled.
Sentence 2: Despite John's disappointment, he smiled.
Do I put the proper noun in the main clause or in the dependent clause?
Are both sentences correct?

Hi Jo_Jaz,

Yes, both are correct! It's clear enough in sentence 1 that "his" refers to "John". Also, bear in mind that the sentences will probably occur in a text (rather than in isolation), and the sentences before this one may also make clear that John (rather than anyone else) is being talked about. 

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by ata_karakaya on Sat, 27/08/2022 - 11:42

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Hello, I have a question about the last question in grammar test 2.
I see a subject an a verb after the blank like example three (Despite having a headache, I had a great birthday.)
But the answer is although.
could you tell me where I went wrong?
Thanks a lot :)

Hi ata_karakaya,

"Although" is correct because it is followed by a subject ("she") and a verb ("is arriving"). 

"Despite" doesn't work here because it should be followed by a noun, -ing verb form, or a pronoun (not a subject and a verb, like "although"). In the "headache" example, "despite" is followed by an -ing verb form ("having").

However, it is possible to say "Despite the fact that she's arriving late ..." - in this case, "despite" is followed by a noun phrase beginning with "the fact that".

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team