When do people use ‘even though’ or ‘despite’

(i) To show that although there is good reason for something to be true, it is actually not the case
(ii)For surprise, or for something surprising.

– examples

Despite being beautiful, most people hate her.
(because she is beautiful, you would think people will like her; but it is not true)

Even though he is tall, he is terrible at basketball.
(because he is tall, you would think he will be good at basketball; but it is not true)

What is the difference?

There isn’t really a difference in meaning.
However, there is a difference in structure.

1. Despite + noun
2. Despite + verb/adverb phrase
3. Even though + simple clause

Examples of Despite + Noun

Despite his gun, he was scared.
(‘his gun’ is a noun)

Despite all his money, he has no friends.

Examples of Despite + verb

Despite holding a gun, he was scared.
(‘holding a gun’ is a verb phrase)

Despite having a lot of money, he has no friends.

Examples of Even though + simple clause
(the simple clause should read like a short sentence)

Even though he was holding a gun, he was scared.
(‘he was holding a gun’ is a simple clause)

Even though he has a lot of money, he has no friends.

Reversing the structure

Phrases with ‘despite’ and ‘even though’ have two clauses, and the order of the clauses can be reversed.

– examples

Despite having a lot of money, he has no friends.
He has no friends, despite having a lot of money.

Even though he was holding a gun, he was scared.
He was scared, even though he was holding a gun.

Exercises

Use ‘despite’ or ‘even though’ to make sentences using these fragments:
(i) It is the middle of summer. She feels cold.
(ii) The phone cost a lot of money. It is not actually very good.
(iii) He slept for 10 hours last night. He still feels tired.