Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about the differences between "despite," "in spite" and "although." These three words or three phrases are very commonly used in similar ways, so I'm going to talk about the differences in using them in sentences. Let's get started.
Okay, first, I want to look at "despite" and as I do, I want to make a special note about this first point here. I have here, "despite" means "even though." We'll see in this lesson, actually, all of these mean "even though," so they all have this "even though" meaning. So that means, even though (A), (B). This is kind of like a common pattern we'll see in the example sentences today. So, even though there is this condition, there is another condition, so we'll see this a lot today.
When we use "despite," we need to position it before a noun phrase, it needs to come before a noun phrase. We'll see this with "in spite" as well. So, this is commonly used with these two patterns. So, first is "the fact that." This means, the expression, "despite the fact that…" and then you describe your condition. This is one very common way to use "despite." We can drop that here, so, "despite the fact" or "despite the fact that," those are both very common ways to use "despite."
We can also use despite before a verb in the -ING form. So here, we're making it into a noun. So, "despite having" or "despite studying" or "despite walking," "despite sleeping," so we're using that -ING form. We can use both of those patterns with "despite." It's very common.
So, let's take a look at how this appears in sentences then.
First, "Despite the fact he had no money, he took an expensive vacation."
"Despite the fact…," so here I have "the fact he had no money, he took an expensive vacation." So, we have to use some kind of noun expression here when we're talking about or rather, when we're using despite. So this, "despite he had no money," this is incorrect. This is an incorrect sentence. We need to use a noun here. So in this case, "the fact." So here, "the fact" means this part, "he had no money," this is the fact we're talking about here. So the fact, "fact" means true information, 100% true information. So, "despite the fact," this 100% true information, he took an expensive vacation. So again, even though (A), (B). So, we could change the sentence around. We could say…
"He took an expensive vacation despite the fact he had no money."
That's also okay. It's up to you to choose that part.
So, let's look at another example using a different pattern with "despite."
Here, "She took the day off work, despite having a lot to do."
So here, I used this verb in the -ING form. So, "despite having a lot to do," not, "despite have," but "despite having" a lot to do. Again, if I remove this, it's not correct, "despite a lot to do." Hmm, it's not correct. We need to use a noun there. So, she took the day off work, despite having a lot to do.
Again, we could change the order of the sentence.
"Despite having a lot to do, she took the day off work."
That's also okay.
All right, one more example here.
"We were pickpocketed at the airport. Despite that, we had a great trip."
This is another common way that we use "despite." Here, my noun is "that." In this case, "that" refers to the point in the previous sentence or in the previous clause. In this case, "despite the fact we were pickpocketed at the airport," so despite this situation, despite this condition, we had a great trip. So, you'll commonly hear "despite that" used to refer to the previous statement. Okay, so this is how we use "despite."
Now, let's compare that with "in spite." So "in spite," again, means "even though," just as all of these do in this lesson, and, just like in, or sorry, just like "despite," rather, it needs to be positioned before a noun phrase. So that means we can use the same patterns here as we use with "despite." So, for example, "the fact that…" can be used with "in spite" and there's one more point here that's key. We have to use "of" when we use "in spite." So not just "in spite," but "in spite of (something)." So, "in spite of the fact that…" or another verb in the -ING form pattern here. This is also okay with "in spite of." So, "in spite of having…" or "in spite of losing…," these kinds of patterns are okay as well. So, this is a key point with "in spite," you must use "of," "in spite of (some noun phrase)."
So, let's take a look at a few examples of this.
First, "In spite of the fact we lost the game, the coach took the team out for pizza."
So here is my noun phrase. Here, I've used "of." "In spite of the fact we lost the game…," so that's my (A) here. Even though (A), the coach took the team out for pizza (B). So even though (A), (B). In spite of (A), (B). So, there was this condition, "we lost the game," even though that was the situation, "the coach took the team out for pizza." So, we could use "in spite of" here.
Another example.
"He didn't get the job he wanted. In spite of that, he was cheerful and optimistic."
So again, here, I've used that as my noun phrase where that refers to the previous sentence. So, he didn't get the job he wanted, maybe,. a disappointing thing. "Despite that" or "in spite of that" here, we can use to refer to that, to mean like, even though this was the case, "he was cheerful and optimistic."
So, you heard me just now use "despite" instead. That's a pretty good clue then, a pretty good hint, that actually, we can use "in spite of" and "despite" to mean exactly the same thing. They have exactly the same meaning. The only difference is this "of" here. We need to use "of" with "in spite" and we do not use "of" with "despite." So, they are totally interchangeable. You can choose which you prefer. I think, I tend to use "despite" more which is why I used it just now. If you want to, you can use "in spite of" too. To me, "in spite of" feels a little bit more formal, but it could be just personal preference there. So, we can use these two in exactly the same way. We just need to consider this "of" point before the noun phrase.
Okay, finally, let's look at "although," although. So yes, "although," again, means "even though" as the others do. A key difference here though is "although" does not need to be positioned in front of a noun phrase. So, we talked about using "the fact" or using a verb in the -ING form, we do not do that with "although."
So, let's look at some examples of how we do use it.
Here, "Although good weather was expected, it rained on the day of the event."
So here, you'll notice there's no "the fact," there's no "that" or anything here. We just continue right from "although" into the condition. So, we described the condition, "good weather was expected." This was the condition. "It rained on the day of the event." So, even though (A), (B). We follow the same pattern we followed here, but the structure of the sentence at this point is just a little bit different. There's no noun phrase there. If we said, "although the fact that," it would not be correct. We do not use it this way. We do not say "although that," we do not use that either. We don't use this verb form too, "although having" is not something we use either.
Okay, let's look at another one. So again, we just begin describing the condition right after although.
So, "Although we spent a lot of time planning, we didn't finish the project on time."
So here, "although," "even though we spent a lot of time planning," so here is my condition (A), "we didn't finish the project on time." So again, there's no like noun phrase we need to insert here. We just begin the situation, talking about the situation.
Okay, one final example with although in the middle of the sentence.
"She was happy about her test score, although she looked disappointed."
So here, I reversed it. This is like (B), although (A) or (B), even though (A).
"She was happy about her test score, although she looked disappointed."
So, we can use this in this way too.
You'll also notice, I haven't used "although" like with this. I used "that" with "in spite of" and "despite." We don't use it in this way. We don't say like "although that," we don't use it in that way. If you want to refer back to the previous sentence, it might sound nicer to use "despite" or "in spite of." So that's the case where, maybe one of these would be better to use than "although." So you can see that "although," as a conjunction, does a nice job of connecting these ideas and then we can use "despite" and "in spite," kind of like to refer back, to go back to another point. That's how I like to use these anyway. So maybe, it's helpful for you.
So these all follow kind of one pattern that I've mentioned many times in this lesson which is this; even though (A), (B). So lots of these example sentences follow this pattern. So even though (A), (B). And here, I mentioned an opposite pattern, (B), even though (A). So, these are both correct. You can just choose whichever you prefer, like if you want to emphasize one point more than another point, you could start the sentence with that. So both patterns are fine and you can use all of these to communicate very similar ideas. You just need to think about how you build the sentence.
So, I hope that this introduction to these three expressions helps you. Of course, if you have questions or comments or if you want to practice making a sentence with one of these, please feel free to do so in the comment section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye!


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Friday at 03:35 AM
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Thank you so much teacher, I'm so glad😊 to attend this class and I hope to improve my English Very fast and be an excellent student. I'll do all my best to improve my English and have a good accent like you.

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widad usman
Wednesday at 02:27 PM
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Interesting indeed.Clear pronunciation.

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Pablo José Morales
Wednesday at 01:55 AM
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Despite the fact I´m 51 years old, I´m continue learning English and improving my conversation! Thank you Alisha!