Despite vs. Although: How to Use Despite vs Although Correctly?

Despite and although are two commonly used words in the English language that express contrast. They are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between them that can affect the meaning of a sentence. In this article, we will explore the differences between despite and although and how to use them correctly.

Key Takeaways

  • Despite and although are two commonly used words in the English language that express contrast.
  • Despite is a preposition that means “in spite of” or “without being affected by,” while although is a conjunction that means “even though” or “despite the fact that.”
  • Despite is followed by a noun or a pronoun, while although is followed by a clause.

Despite vs. Although

Despite vs. Although: How to Use Despite vs Although Correctly?

When to Use Despite

Examples:

  • Despite the bad weather, we enjoyed ourselves.
  • Despite the criticisms, she remained defiant.
  • She looked lovely, despite her strange apparel.
  • He’s an ordinary bloke, despite being famous.
  • The plants are growing in again, despite the drought.
  • Despite all the difficulties, he still remains optimistic.

When to Use Although

Examples:

  • They are generous although they are poor.
  • Although she is young, she is very independent.
  • Although he was ill, he went to work.
  • Although she often disagreed with me, she was always courteous.
  • They got on well together although they were total strangers.
  • I recognized Peter although I hadn’t seen him for 10 years.

Grammatical Rules for ‘Despite’

Usage in Sentences

When using ‘despite’ in a sentence, it is important to remember that it is a preposition, which means it must be followed by a noun or a pronoun. Here are some examples of correct usage:

  • Despite the heavy rain, we still went for a walk.
  • Despite his busy schedule, he always finds time for his family.
  • Despite the fact that she had a headache, she still went to work.
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It is important to note that ‘despite’ cannot be used to link two clauses. Instead, it is used to introduce a phrase that contrasts with the main clause of the sentence.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake when using ‘despite’ is to use it with a verb instead of a noun or pronoun. For example, saying “Despite raining, we went for a walk” is incorrect. Instead, it should be “Despite the rain, we went for a walk.”

Another mistake is to use ‘despite’ and ‘although’ interchangeably. While both words express contrast, they are used differently. ‘Although’ is a conjunction that is used to link two clauses, while ‘despite’ is a preposition that is used to introduce a phrase that contrasts with the main clause. Here is an example of correct usage:

  • Although it was raining, we still went for a walk.
  • Despite the rain, we still went for a walk.

Grammatical Rules for ‘Although’

Usage in Sentences

‘Although’ is a conjunction that is used to introduce a subordinate clause in a sentence. It is used to express contrast, and it is often used to introduce a clause that contradicts the main clause of the sentence. For example, “Although it was raining, we decided to go for a walk.” In this sentence, the subordinate clause “although it was raining” introduces a contrast to the main clause “we decided to go for a walk.”

‘Although’ is often used in the same way as ‘even though’, but the latter is considered to be a little stronger than the former. When using ‘although’, it is important to note that it must be followed by a clause, not a phrase. For example, “Although the weather was bad” is incorrect, and it should be “Although the weather was bad, we still went out.”

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Common Mistakes

One of the common mistakes that people make when using ‘although’ is to use it with a phrase instead of a clause. As mentioned earlier, ‘although’ must be followed by a clause, not a phrase. Another common mistake is to use ‘although’ when ‘despite’ or ‘in spite of’ would be more appropriate. For example, “Although the rain, we had a great time” is incorrect, and it should be “Despite the rain, we had a great time.”

It is also important to note that ‘although’ should not be used to introduce a sentence. Instead, it should be used to introduce a subordinate clause within a sentence. For example, “Although I was tired, I stayed up late to finish my work” is correct, but “Although I was tired. I stayed up late to finish my work” is incorrect.

Comparing ‘Despite’ and ‘Although’

When it comes to expressing contrast in English, two words that are often used are ‘despite’ and ‘although’. While these words convey a similar meaning, there are some key differences in how they are used.

Despite

‘Despite’ is a preposition that is used to indicate that one thing does not prevent another thing from happening. It is often followed by a noun or a gerund (-ing form of a verb). For example:

  • Despite the rain, we went for a walk.
  • He went to the party despite feeling tired.
  • Despite their best efforts, they were unable to finish the project on time.

Although

‘Although’ is a conjunction that is used to indicate a contrast between two things. It is often followed by a clause (a group of words that contains a subject and a verb). For example:

  • Although it was raining, we went for a walk.
  • He went to the party, although he was feeling tired.
  • Although they tried their best, they were unable to finish the project on time.
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One key difference between ‘despite’ and ‘although’ is that ‘despite’ is followed by a noun or a gerund, while ‘although’ is followed by a clause. Another difference is that ‘despite’ indicates that one thing does not prevent another thing from happening, while ‘although’ indicates a contrast between two things.

Last Updated on November 25, 2023

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