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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

Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

Hello Muhammad Erad,

The best source for you is a good dictionary, or rather several dictionaries so that you can compare their definitions. I would recommend the following:

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/

 

However, please remember that the context is crucial. Without knowing the full context in which a word is to be used it is impossible to be sure which word is appropriate. For example, passion can be used to mean great enthusiasm or commitment:

I have always had a great passion for Shakespeare's tragedies.

The lawyer's arguments were expressed with great passion.

Passion can also refer to desire for another person:

He looked at her with great passion.

After twenty years of marriage their passion for one another was still strong.

 

These are choices which can only be made with knowledge of the context and the intended meaning - problems which afflict any translator!

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I have read these examples: 'The room has been painted but not in the colour that I asked for.'
'I’d love to go for a pizza with you but not tonight.' on Cambridge Dictionary. Could you tell me please Can I use 'although' instead of 'but' to be like this: 'although it has been painted it's not the colour that I asked for'
'although I'd love to go with you for a pizza I can't go out tonight'

Hello mohamedfathy,

Grammatically that is fine but it makes the sentence sound more formal when you use 'although'. In normal everyday speech on topics such as in your examples we would use 'but' rather than 'although'. In more formal speech or in more formal writing 'although' would be more likely.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you, Peter

I Feel happy i scored 100%

Hi,
could u please tell me whats the differences between "nonetheless" and "even though" as conjunctions?

tnx

Hi Mohsen.k77,

In terms of style, 'nonetheless' is quite formal whereas 'even though' is more neutral. 'Nonetheless' begins a new sentence but 'even though' can be also be used in the middle of a sentence.

In terms of use, there is a big difference. Both describe something surprising but where 'nonetheless' introduces a result, 'even though' comes before a obstacle.

For example:

I did the job even though I was tired. [surprising result + even though + obstacle/problem]

I was tired. Nonetheless, I did the job. [obstacle/problem + nonetheless + surprising result]

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I have enjoyed a lot with the exercises here. It twists my head and that is pretty good.

So interesting

I fell happy that I am able to score 100%

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