The structure DESPITE, IN SPITE OF, ALTHOUGH, THOUGH are all in the grammatical subject of the concession clause. These structures are not only common in writing, but even in everyday English communication, you will “encounter” them many times.
In terms of the meaning of the structure, we’re no stranger to it, right? However, with 4 words and phrases that are synonymous, the usage with each structure is very different. This makes it difficult for many students to avoid confusion when using.
In today’s article, Language Link Academic will help you re-systematize the topic of grammar and “smash” this worry of using the wrong structure with very important and easy-to-remember notes!
Summary of article content hide
I. Structure and usage
1. Structure Despite/In spite of
2. Some important notes
II. Practice exercises
Ex.1. Rewrite the sentences with DESPITE.
Ex.2. Rewrite the sentences with ALTHOUGH.
Ex.3. Combine sentences with DESPITE.
I. Structure and Usage
DESPITE and IN SPITE OF are both prepositions that show contrast between two clauses, and are usually translated as “although”. These two words have opposite meanings of “because of”. However, the usage of these words is distinctly different. IN SPITE OF and DESPITE are used as a preposition, before a noun, noun phrase, gerund, or V-ing.
Viewing: What is despite
Eg. Despite/In spite of his busy schedule, he still spent a day to visit my family.
Also means “despite”, but ALTHOUGH, THOUGH, EVEN THOUGH are used as conjunctions, linking two clauses of concession. Therefore, they are placed at the beginning of a sentence or between two clauses.
Different positions also give different shades of emphasis in sentences. When placed at the beginning of a sentence, though makes the sentence more formal than when it comes between two clauses. To further emphasize the contrast between the two clauses, you can use even though instead of though or although.
Eg: Although his schedule is so busy, he still spent a day to visit my family.
Note: Particularly for spoken language, though is more common when standing at the end of a sentence and we can translate it into Vietnamese as “but”, or “however”.
Eg. This dress isn’t very nice. I like the material though (This dress is not very pretty but I like the fabric)
1. Structure Despite/In spite of
Despite/In spite of + N/N phrase/V-ing, S + V + … = S + V + … + despite/in spite of + N/N phrase/V-ing = Although + S + V + …, S + V + …
Eg: Despite his busy schedule, he still spent a day to visit my family.
= Although his schedule is so busy, he still spent a day to visit my family.
(Despite his extremely busy schedule, he still took a day to visit my family.)
2. Some important notes
a. DESPITE THE FACT THAT structure
Despite/In spite of the fact that + clause, main clause
IN SPITE OF and DESPITE both precede THE FACT THAT to form the adverb clause, and then the main clause. This is a confusing structure because students often mechanically remember that DESPITE, IN SPITE OF do not combine clauses, or mistakenly remember the structure as DESPITE OF THE FACT THAT.
Eg. Sylwia went out for lunch in spite of the fact that it was raining outside.
You can see in this example, the structure ‘in spite of’ comes with ‘the fact that’ so after this structure we will have to fill in a clause instead of a noun phrase or V-ing. Be careful not to get caught in the trap!
Eg: Despite the fact that I have ever talked to her, I can’t remember her name.
= In spite of the fact that I have ever talked to her, I can’t remember her name.
(Despite the fact that I once spoke to her, I cannot remember her name.)
DESPITE and IN SPITE OF have similar meanings and usage. However, DESPITE is often preferred in spoken and everyday communication contexts.
See also: What is Narrative Sentence, Narrative Sentence & Question Sentence
b. Common types of exam questions about this structure
With this structure, the most common type of exercise is to transform sentences between two structures ALTHOUGH/EVEN THOUGH and IN SPITE OF/DESPITE. However, you should note, you can only rewrite the sentence using DESPITE with V-ing when the subject of the two clauses is the same, or use DESPITE THE FACT THAT instead.
Eg: Even though she didn’t join with us in this project, she still supported us
→ Despite not joining with us in this project, she still supported us
To understand more about the structure despite and some related structures to talk about concessions and opposites in English, you can refer to the very good knowledge in the short video below with Language Link Academic!
II. Workout exercises
To immediately remember what you have just learned, and understand more deeply about how to apply structure to exercises, try the exercises below!
Ex.1. Rewrite the sentences with DESPITE.Even though he usually tells lies, many people believe him.Although Lan is a poor student, she studies very well.Although she was out of money, she went shoppingEven though he stayed up late to finish his report last night, he gets up early to do morning exercises today.Although the weather was bad, we had a wonderful holiday with a lot of interesting activities.
Despite the fact that he usually tells lies, many people believe him.Despite being a poor student, Lan studies very well.Despite being out of money, she went shopping.Despite staying up late to finish his report last night, he gets up early to do morning exercises today.Despite the bad weather, we had a wonderful holiday with a lot of interesting activities.Ex.2. Viết lại câu với ALTHOUGH.Despite the fact that he got bad grade in the university entrance exam, he was admitted to the university.In spite of their poverty, they are very generous.Despite trying many times, she hasn’t given upIn spite of missing the bus, we went to school on time.Despite the fire, firefighter went into the house to save the baby.
Although he got bad grade in the university entrance exam, he was admitted to the university.Although they are poor, they are very generous.Although she has tried many times, she hasn’t given up.Although we missed the bus, we went to school on time.Although the fire was burning, firefighter went into the house to save the baby.Ex.3. Gộp câu với DESPITE.She is intelligent and beautiful. She isn’t confident of herself.He hasn’t kept his promise many times. She still believes him.Most children like seeing the firework show. His son doesn’t like that.We spent more than 2 hours to discuss. We couldn’t make a decision with full agreement.He has a lot of experience in machinery. He couldn’t repair the machine in our office.
Despite being intelligent and beautiful, she isn’t confident of herself.Despite the fact that he hasn’t kept his promise many times, she still believes him.Despite the fact that most children like seeing the firework show, his son doesn’t like that.Despite two hours of discussion, we couldn’t make a decision with full agreement.Despite his experience in machinery, he couldn’t repair the machine in our office.
Language Link Academic vừa giúp bạn ôn tập lại các kiến thức, cấu trúc DESPITE, cùng những bài tập cơ bản để bạn luyện tập. Học ngữ pháp tiếng Anh nhớ lâu, và hiểu sâu bản chất thực sự rất khó, và yêu cầu người học phải đầu tư thời gian để rèn luyện.
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