'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 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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Language level

Submitted by acinorev on Wed, 19/09/2012 - 17:26


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.

Submitted by Magnet on Sun, 02/09/2012 - 15:36


Hello friends :)

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

Submitted by merve tuncay on Fri, 17/08/2012 - 20:44


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.

hi my name is bryan ,and i"m a dummy who trying to get improved my  english ,

so are we friends now ?

Hi Commander,

I am replying to you as you have mentioned that you want to improve your speaking. I am here to improve mine too. Then what do you think if we can help each other?

See you.


Submitted by smithcameron30 on Sat, 11/08/2012 - 09:42


hello frnds,

i am a beginner in english and anyone who wants to chat in english can join me in facebook. 

search for xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in xxxxxxxx community in facebook.


Hello smithcameron30 -

It's great that you want to chat to other students – but please don't ask for or give give out or ask for information like Facebook details and so on. Our house rules ask you not to do this, to protect all our users. Why not carry on chatting in the comments section? Our Elementary Podcasts often include quite lively conversations!

Best wishes,

Jeremy Bee
TheLearnEnglish Team

Submitted by ALini El on Sat, 11/08/2012 - 01:19

Hi everyone.. I'm newcomer here.& I like to improve my English more. So I need someone can teach me how to do better like you all do from this website. Looking forward to your prompt reply. Thanks& regards - EL

Submitted by Truc nguyen on Thu, 09/08/2012 - 14:18

Hi. Everyone. I'm newcomer in this website . I come from vietnam. I want to improve learn english. But .......

Submitted by melita.m on Wed, 08/08/2012 - 11:34


Hai everyone, i'm newcomer in this website, i want to improve my english, but i don't know how i must begin. Anyone can give me suggestion the step what must do first?

thank you,


Hello Melita!


Well, you should see this website 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 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

Submitted by affable arsi on Mon, 06/08/2012 - 21:49


Hi everyone, I am new comer and writing for the very first time...

its my tall ask to become a good conversationalist of English Language, its very sad too that I don't have a single friend who can speak English :(

Is there anyone who wants to join me please....???

so that he/she and I will learn more by talking with each other...

waiting for your positive responses...

thanks :)


hello !! nice to meet you

I aslo want to improve my speaking and writing skills.I think if we want to improve them ,we must use them usually,,Do you agree with me ???

If you agree.you can contract me by nick yahoo : xxxxxxxxxxxx

Then we will practice English together !!!

see you soon


Hello dazzling_ruby93!

Just a reminder - our house rules ask you not to share or ask for personal information, including Yahoo ids. This is to protect everyone who uses our site. You can use the comments sections to talk to other users, though!


Enjoy your stay on LearnEnglish!




Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team


Submitted by ogroo on Wed, 01/08/2012 - 13:37


Hi all? How are you? I am newcomer in this website and I want improve my English. I have studied English for several years but I m still not good at. please help me.

Submitted by T Beka on Tue, 17/07/2012 - 12:41


Useful site.  I really improved my english  and Im contuining

Submitted by B.Karin on Sat, 14/07/2012 - 20:40


Hello......How are you? I am newcomer in this website and I want improve my English. I have studied English for several years, but I know it not very well, and I will be very happy if you help me know more about this language.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

All the best,


Hello karin,

Please give a kiss for me to your lovely country.

now  I have no time, but I hope to read from you as soon as you can


Submitted by moon glow on Sat, 14/07/2012 - 11:10


hello everyone ! how are you :) i am a newcomer in your interesting website, I am not a native speaker but I've studied English in the university for 4 years, and i wanted to join this website only to enrich and improve my English Language. indeed i can write and interact in English but i am considering myself as a beginner ! hope I'll find the extreme support from the members

hello !! nice to meet you

I'm Jenica

I want to find a friend who can practice English with me .Becausse I support

If  the more we talk the vacabularies, the more improving we can get

Do you agree with me

If you agree,please contract me by nick yahoo : xxxxxxxxxxx

see you soon

have a good day

Submitted by basafa on Thu, 12/07/2012 - 15:39


Dear Admin

I'm newcomer in this website, in my first experience in your grammar page I faced something that seems is a mistake:

in 'Verbs followed by ‘ing’ or by ‘to + infinitive’ 1' the verb  "steal"  has been declared as the verb must followed by 'ing' form but I think the verb "admit" ​is the correct one.


Ali basafa

Submitted by Major_Smoker on Mon, 18/06/2012 - 21:17



i have 2 short questions.

1. Is it allowed to ask, if somebody were interested to write E-Mails with me?

and if it is allowed

2. I´m searching for a person which can write English very well and is good in working with Grammar. In my opinion it is on of the best way´s to practice this language (learning by doing). But I have to say that my English isn´t well.

Your sincerely



Hello, Heavy Smoker!

I'm not a native speaker, but I've studied English for a really long time, so if you're interested, we can write to each other. I think we can improve a lot this way.

Hope to hear from you soon.



just now i saw your comments and i'm interested to improve our skills togetherly.

if you interested write and send it to me..

i'll send reply to you as soon as possible.


Hello Adriana,

I am a newcomer here and I would ask you to help me to improve my English skills. Hope to hear from you soon.



Hi there, Major Smoker!


Just a reminder – our house rules ask you not to share or ask for personal information, including e-mail. This is to protect all our users! However, you are right that the best way to learn is by doing. Why not take a look at some of our pages, and join the discussions in the comment section? Other learners will be happy to reply to you! And keep visiting - we are looking at ways to make it easier for learners to talk to each other safely!




Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

I am 56 and I do not know anything about talking here, I will be very ....

thank you


Submitted by wajdyalawaida on Tue, 12/06/2012 - 15:57


please who can help me to learn english


Submitted by rebin on Tue, 12/06/2012 - 08:40


                hello ... really i want to improve my English language   to be in better way  and  speaking it in a good way  so im new here i want your helps to know more about  english .

Submitted by kristina ferati on Sat, 09/06/2012 - 13:13


hello..i am from albania. i really want to improve my english skills and i hope this site will help me..:)


Submitted by Rabinas on Fri, 08/06/2012 - 14:02


Hello everyone

I am here to improve my level of english. I hope i will enjoy learning english here.


Submitted by Faizan Ahmed Hashmi on Fri, 08/06/2012 - 06:23


Hi AdamJK,

This is Faizan Hashmi from Pakistan, British council is providing a backup to improve english language, now a days english language is spoken through out the world, i can speak a little english, im new at this web site, please tell me that how i can improve my english more quickly.. ?


Faizan Hashmi

HI !!it is a good idea to read a book of your level. this can really help you to improve your english, it is the way that ,now, i have a better english level.

Hello again Fazian!


If you have a look at my answer to your question on the Hairdressers in the UK and Venezuela page you'll see some suggestions there. The most important thing is to do a little every day, and we have plenty of games, exercises, and other material like our Elementary Podcasts to help you do that. Find something that looks interesting, and have a go!


Best wishes


Jeremy Bee

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Rainbowlove!


That's a question I hear a lot from my students! A lot of grammar books tell you to use 'If I were...' However, in both British and American English, 'If I was...' is also used, especially when people are speaking - I would certainly normally use If I was when talking to friends. In most situations it doesn't really matter which you use, but if it is an exam or a formal letter, you should probably use 'If I were', just to be safe. Don't let worrying about it slow you down, though!




Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by axemoustafa on Tue, 05/06/2012 - 19:08


hi every body 


Submitted by khanh huyen nguyen on Tue, 29/05/2012 - 16:48


excuse me, anybody can tell me dis idiom above :" if u give me ur love, i'll give u my name" means what? i'd love to hear from u :)

Submitted by mohammad jraisheh on Mon, 28/05/2012 - 23:37


hi  am mohammad i have a question please some one answered me

:why this question is wrong

?did you have a good travel

Hi mohammad

this question is wrong because travel is an uncountable noun and you can not use 'a' with it .if you want to use 'a' you can say 'Did you have a good journey?'

because 'journey' is an countable noun.

good luck

Submitted by Aung Soe Tint on Mon, 28/05/2012 - 08:38


Hi Adam,

I am a new user and this is my first day. I want to ask you a question.

" I prefer using the Net to reading newspaper."

"I prefer apple to orange."

I want to rewrite the above sentences using "would rather", but I don't know the use of would rather. Explain me how to use it and which is commonly used.


would rather is used when you prefer one thing to the other and it describes the action e.g i would rather read a newspaper than using a net.

i would rather eat an apple than sucking an orange.

Submitted by Md. Noman Hossain. on Sun, 27/05/2012 - 12:47


Absolutely awesome. "The grass grows because of the spring sun but the grass can't give anything back to the sun in return. I think, it is the same with British Council's service.