Difference Between Despite and In Spite
English learners often find the difference between “despite” and “in spite of” confusing, but with a little clarification there is no reason to use them incorrectly. In spite of and despite are synonyms, but English learners sometimes combine the terms and come up with errors such as ‘despite of’ or ‘in despite of’. These are not correct and should not be used.
Despite and in spite of are prepositions that are used to express contrast For example: ‘Kate went to the carnival despite the rain’ or ‘Kate went to the carnival in spite of the rain.’ Despite might be considered to be a slightly more formal variation or synonym of in spite of and is used more commonly in written English.
Despite and in spite of are the opposite of because of. For example: ‘Julie loved Tom in spite of his football obsession’. Or ‘Julie loved Tom because of his football obsession’.
Despite and in spite of are followed in English by a noun, pronoun (this, that, what etc) or ‘“ing ‘“
Noun usage ‘“ ‘Ruth woke up feeling refreshed despite Dave calling at midnight.’ Or ‘Ruth woke up feeling refreshed in spite of Dave calling at midnight.’
Pronoun usage ‘“ ‘I want to go for a run despite this rain.’ Or ‘I want to go for a run in spite of this rain.’
-ing usage ‘“ ‘Despite eating McDonalds regularly Tina remained slim.’ Or ‘In spite of eating McDonalds regularly Tina remained slim.’
Both despite and in spite of are often followed by ‘the fact’. For example: ‘She bought a new pair of shoes despite the fact that she already had 97 pairs.’ Or ‘She went to the cinema in spite of the fact that she was exhausted.’
Both despite and in spite of can be used in the first or second clause of a sentence. For example: ‘She liked ice cream despite having sensitive teeth.’ Or ‘Despite having sensitive teeth, she went liked ice cream’. The difference in meaning between the two sentences is that in the first example the liking ice cream is the most important information and in the second example the sensitive teeth is the most important piece of information.
Although, though and even though can be used as alternatives to despite and in spite of , but they are grammatically constructed differently. This is often where confusion is created as they are followed by different language forms.
1.Despite and in spite of are synonyms
2.’Despite of’ or ‘in despite of’ are incorrect usages
3.Both are followed by a noun, pronoun or ‘“ing verb form
4.Although, though and even though are alternatives that are formed using different grammar
5.Despite and in spite of can both be used in the first or second clause of a sentence
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