Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Although / though / even though / inspite of / despite

a) Study this example situation:
Last year Jack and Jill spent their vacation at the beach. It rain a lot, but they enjoyed themselves. You can say:

Although it rained a lot, they enjoyed themselves. (It rained a lot, but they....) or: In spite of / Despite the rain, they enjoyed themselves.

b) After although we use a subject+verb:
  • Although she smokes 20 cigarettes a day, she seems quite healthy.
  • Although it rained a lot, we enjoyed our vacation.
  • I didn't get the job, although I had all the necessary qualification.

After in spite of (or despite) we use a noun, a pronoun (this/that/what, etc.), or -ing:

  • In spite of the rain, we enjoyed our vacation.
  • I didn't get the job, despite my qualifications.
  • she wasn't well, but in spite of this she went to work.
  • Despite what I said last night, I still love you.
  • I am not tired, in spite of working hard all day.

Note that we say "in spite of," but despite (without of). You can also say in spite of / despite the fact that...:

  • In spite of the fact that I was tired, I couldn't sleep.
  • She seems healthy, despite the fact that she smokes 20 cigarettes a day.

Compare although and in spite of / despite:

  • Although the traffic was bad, I arrived on time.
  • I couldn't sleep, although I was very tired.
  • I couldn't sleep, despite being very tired.

c) Sometimes we use though instead of although:

  • I didn't get the job, though I had all the necessary qualifications.

In spoken English we often use though at the end of a sentence:

  • The house isn't very nice, I like the garden though. (= but I like the garden)
  • I see him everyday. I've never spoken to him though. (= but I've never spoken to him)

Even though is a stronger form of although:

  • Even though I was really tired, I couldn't sleep.


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