Despite, in spite of, notwithstanding

In this lesson we will take a look at connecting words used to express contrasts. You must be familiar with the conjunctions although and though. They both mean the same and are used to connect clauses expressing contrasting ideas.

  • Although she was intelligent, she couldn’t solve the problem.
  • Though he was a nice guy, he had few friends.

The conjunctions although and though have several variations. In this article we will take a look at other conjunctions that can be used instead of though / although.

In spite of, despite and notwithstanding

In spite of and despite can be followed by an -ing form.

  • In spite of being the most popular candidate, Rahul failed to win the election.
  • Despite being the most popular candidate, Rahul failed to win the election.
  • Although Rahul was the most popular candidate, he failed to win the election.
  • In spite of studying hard, I couldn’t pass the test.
  • Despite studying hard, I couldn’t pass the test.
  • Although I studied hard, I couldn’t pass the test.

 

In spite of the fact that / despite the fact that

In spite of and despite can be followed by a that-clause. Note that in this case, the that-clause is introduced by the expression ‘the fact’.

  • Despite the fact that I studied hard, I couldn’t pass the test. (NOT Despite that I studied hard, I couldn’t pass the test.)
  • In spite of the fact that I studied hard, I couldn’t pass the test.

 

In spite of + noun / despite + noun

In spite of and despite can be followed by a noun.

  • Despite my hard work, I couldn’t pass the test. OR In spite of my hard work, I couldn’t pass the test.
  • In spite of his popularity, he couldn’t win the election. OR Despite his popularity, he couldn’t win the election.

Notwithstanding the fact that

  • Notwithstanding the fact that I worked hard, I couldn’t pass the test.
  • Notwithstanding the fact that he was a popular candidate, he couldn’t win the election.

Notwithstanding + noun

Notwithstanding can be followed by a noun.

  • Notwithstanding his popularity he couldn’t win the election.

Notes

In spite of and despite have the same grammar and meaning. They are used exactly alike. Notwithstanding is quite formal.

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