Even though vs. Despite

1. 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.

The ‘even though’ or ‘despite’ clause can come at the start of the sentence, or at the end.

Despite being beautiful, most people hate her.

She is beautiful, so you would think people will like her. However, it is not true.
He never pays the bill despite having a lot of money.He has a lot of money, so you would think he would sometimes pay the bill. However, it is not true.
Even though they are tall, they are terrible at basketball.
They are tall, so you would think they would be good at basketball. However, it is not true.
Angus likes her even though she forgot his birthday.She forgot Angus’s birthday so you would think he would not like her. However, he does like her.

2. The difference between ‘even though’ and ‘despite’

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

Despite + NounDespite + verbEven though + simple clause
Despite his gun, he was scared.Despite holding a gun, he was scared.Even though he was holding a gun, he was scared.
Despite all his money, he has no friends.Despite having a lot of money, he has no friends.Even though he has a lot of money, he has no friends.
Ruth lost her job despite her hard work.Ruth lost her job despite working hard.Ruth lost her job even though she worked hard.
The game was played despite the snow.The game was played despite it snowing.The game was played even though the weather was snowy.

3. 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.

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