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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

Which one is right? Please explain.
Government's duty
OR
Duty of government

Hello Arvind Kumar Singh,

Both are correct, and have the same meaning. The second is perhaps more formal and more likely in formal writing.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello dear Peter,
I'm so sorry I didn't know this point that I must just ask about the materials on the page,however, my previous question was about the materials (Although) mentioned on this page but I didn't get help !

anyway, thanks a lot for your valuable team work here, I've learnt a lot from you and your friends.

best regards,

Mohsen

Hello everyone,

" Bored with the grown-up conversation, little Amy fell asleep under the kitchen table."
could you please help me with finding the complete subject and the complete predicate in this sentence.

Best wishes
Mohsen

Hello Mohsen.k77,

I'm afraid we don't help with questions such as this from homework or other similar tasks. Our focus is on helping users with the material on the site and with some questions about language, but not doing these kinds of tasks.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello dear Kirk,
I'm sorry if I'm taking your time, but I've found this definition for 'Although' in longman entry : "conjunction used when contrasting one clause with another in the same sentence." it is said contrasting, but as you said not for Contrasting . I'm confused ! I'll be fully appreciate if you can help me with this point.

best regards
Mohsen

Hello Mohsen.k77,

You're right, that's confusing – my apologies. Let me explain this better now. 'although' is for a contrast, a surprise or unexpected thing, or something which made another thing less likely or possible. 'whereas' just compares/contrasts different things, it doesn't suggest one influences the other. For example:

I left the umbrella at home although it was raining. ('although' = in spite of the fact that the rain makes the decision odd/unusual/less likely)

I left my umbrella at home whereas Bob took his. ('whereas' contrasts two different events/decisions/facts but they don't influence one another)

The key is that 'although' shows a surprising connection, whereas 'whereas' just holds two things up and says 'look, they're different'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

 

Hello dears,
as it is said above "After although we use a subject and a verb."
here i have an example from longman dictionary: "Although in poor health, she continued to carry out her duties." is that correct although there isn't a subject in the first part?

and my second question is about the differences between "Although" and "whereas"
#the handset I have received is purple,.......... the one in the advert is blue.
the book's answer is whereas, why although is not correct in this example?

thanks a lot

Hello Mohsen.k77,

That's very observant of you – good work! The example from the dictionary is a case of ellipsis (omitting words), which is a complex topic that we don't go into here. In most situations, the rule that a subject and verb are necessary after 'although' is true, so I'd encourage you to follow it, despite this exception.

'whereas' is used to compare two contrasting points, whereas 'although' is not used in this way. I'd suggest you compare the examples you can find in the dictionary entry for the two words.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! Everyone,

I’d like to know if the following sentences I have written are grammatically correct.

I believe the first one is correct. As for the second one, I’ve no idea if it’s right although -ing can also be used after “despite/in spite of”.

1) Although the police have spent a lot of effort on fighting against crimes, the rate of crime has still been on the rise.

2) Despite/In spite of the police having spent a lot of effort on fighting against crimes, the rate of crime has still been on the rise.

3) Despite/In spite of the great effort made on fighting against crimes by the police, the rate of crime has still been on the rise.

I would be grateful if you would get back to me at your earliest convenience.

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