But vs. Though vs. Despite vs. In Spite Of

All of these words show contrast. But and though are conjunctions. They are used to join two clauses together. In spite of and despite are prepositions. They are followed by a noun or an -ing form.

Read the following sentences.

  • Her performance was good. Still she did not win the first prize.

We can combine these two sentences into one in the following ways.

Using though
  • Though her performance was good, she did not win the first prize. OR She did not win the first prize though her performance was good.

Note that though and its clause can come either before or after the main clause.

Using but
  • Her performance was good but she did not win the first prize.

We do not usually begin sentences with but.

Using in spite of and despite
  • In spite of her good performance, she did not win the first prize.
  • In spite of her performance being good, she did not win the first prize.
  • Despite her good performance, she did not win the first prize.

Despite is more formal than in spite of.

Another example is given below.

  • It was raining. Still we went out.

We can combine these two sentences in the following ways.

  • Though it was raining, we went out.
  • It was raining but we went out.
  • We went out in spite of the rain.
  • We went out despite the rain.
  • I had a headache. Still I enjoyed the film.

We can combine these two sentences into one.

  • Though I had a headache, I enjoyed the film.
  • I had a headache but I enjoyed the film.
  • In spite of having a headache, I enjoyed the film.
  • Despite having a headache, I enjoyed the film.
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Manjusha Nambiar

I am the founder and editor of http://www.perfectyourenglish.com, http://www.ielts-practice.org, and http://ncertguides.com

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