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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

despite & in spite of

we will use only past tense or it can every tense.

pls clarify me.thanks a lot

Hi,

I had an English exam 3 days ago and I got the result yeaterday I was surprised I that I made a mistake so when I asked about the mistake he told me it waa the sentence "despite Ali being strong, he couldn't carry the bag" so I was wondering of it's actually incorrect or not.

Thanks

Hello Omie Hesham,

We don't really comment on other writers, sites, or teachers, but your teacher is right. If you want to use a subject after 'despite' - see the Cambridge Dictionary's grammar for an explanation.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Abdullahyzai,

These sentences are not correct, but the good news is that you can fix them easily. The first thing to do is remove either 'Although' or 'but'. Only remove one of the words, not both. And then in the second sentence, it should be 'could not carry' instead.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you very much

I couldn't find the article on phrases of reason so please accept my apologise for posting on this topic. I ave a question regarding phrase: Because of
" Mary will not walk across the bridge because she is afraid of heights"
Can I rewrite it as: Mary will not walk across the bridge because of HER BEING afraid of heights"
OR " Mary will not walk across the bridge because of her fear of heights"
It seems like the later sounds more natural but I want to know if the earlier sentence is also correct. thank you.

Hello Widescreen,

Yes, both of the sentences you suggest are correct. You're also right that the second one is much more natural.

Perhaps you meant this page? In any case, no worries.

Good work!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hey,
The essay says "After in spite of and despite we use a noun or a pronoun.", and l have no questions about it, but l am really confused by that sentence -- It was recognized that despite the English learning programs designed to equip migrants with the language… Is it wrong? Because we can only use noun or pronoun after despite, but it used the verb-ed "designed", so could you please help me to figure out the question?
looking forword to the replay.

Hello Berrymay,

In your example we have a long noun phrase, which functions just as a one-word noun would. In terms of the sentence the noun phrase is a group of words which act together as a grammatical unit - a subject or an objet, for example. In your example the noun phrase is 'the English learning programs designed to equip migrants with the language'. You can see this because the whole noun phrase could be used as the subject of a verb:

The English learning programs designed to equip migrants with the language are great.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Peter, thanks a lot, l have got it. But...there is another question. "Over half of the solicitors and barristers survey indicated that many of their non-English speaking clients were accompanied by a friend or relative who could assist the inetrpreting." Is there any mistake in this sentence? I am doing error correction, and it is difinitely difficult for me, could you help me to correct the sentence? Please~ thanks, thanks, thanks!

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