ESL Writing

Transitions and Connectors

Introduction to "Despite" and "In spite of"

This ESL writing lesson introduces students to the correct usage of "despite" and "in spite of", which are often used to connect sentences and transition from one idea to another.

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Despite / In spite of

Despite is similar to “although”, but you only write a noun or phrase after despite:

Sentence Pattern:
Despite [noun/phrase], [sentence]
In spite of [noun/phrase], [sentence]

 

  • Despite her strong accent, I understood everything that she said.
  • In spite of the rain, we enjoyed camping very much.
  • Despite his good grades, John didn’t get into the best university.
  • In spite of her illness, Jane has a positive attitude.

You can also put “despite/in spite of” at the end of the sentences:

  • I understood everything that Jane said despite her strong accent.
  • We enjoyed camping very much in spite of the rain.
  • John didn’t get into the best university despite his good grades.
  • Jane has a positive attitude in spite of her illness.

 

 

Remember: After “despite/in spite of”, you should only write a noun or a phrase, and not a complete sentence. (You can write a complete sentence after “although/even though”, but not after “despite/in spite of”)

  • Wrong: Despite it was raining, we went to the beach.
  • Right: Despite the rain, we went to the beach.
  • Right: Although it was raining, we went to the beach.

 

 

  • Wrong: Despite he was a good student, John didn’t get into the best university.
  • Right: Despite being* a good student, John didn’t get into the best university.
  • Right: Although he was a good student, John didn’t get into the best university.

 


*If you have a verb after “despite”, you need to add “-ing”

· Despite having a cold, Bill went to work. (OR: Despite his cold, Bill went to work.)

· Despite being tired, Bill went to work.

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