Vocabulary - though, although, even though, despite, in spite of


رLW Hi, welcome again to engvid.com. My name is Adam. Today we're going to look at

at something that I get asked about all the time. Sorry about that I lost my cap there.

So people, students ask me all the time: what's the difference between

"though", "although" and "even though" and "despite" and "in spite

of". Very simple,

it's not as complicated as everybody thinks. First, let's start with these three. These

three: "though", "although" and "even though" these are used with adverb clauses. Now

And these three are used to show contrast. So what does all this mean in general?

You're going to have a long sentence. This sentence is going to have two

clauses. One clause will have this adverb marker in it, the other clause will be an

independent clause, means that the sentence that can stand by itself. What

this does is it shows a contrast or something that's very different from one

clause to the other clause. So within that one sentence you have contrasting

ideas, like positive and negative or you think this is going to happen, but really

that happens something very different from what you expect. "Despite" and "in

spite of" these are prepositions and they are used with a phrase. Now what is a

phrase? A phrase is also a group of words but it doesn't need to have a subject in

a verb. It can have a noun or it could have a verb or it could have neither. But

usually it has at least one or a gerund, but we'll get to that. But it also shows

contrast. Before I give you some example sentences to understand all this

let's look at each one separately. "Though" and "although", what is the difference? No

difference. "Though" is this a little bit more

informal. You can use either one at the beginning of a sentence or middle

of a sentence. The biggest difference is that you can end a sentence with "though".

You can't really end a sentence with "although". And again, when you end a

sentence with "though", it's a very informal sentence. So, you have to

keep that in mind. So informal, now that doesn't mean that this is formal, it just

means that this is informal, if that makes any sense.

How about "even though"? "Even though" also shows a contrast, but it's a much

stronger contrast, it adds emphasis. But what is the emphasis on? This is

what is important. What is the emphasis placed on? The expectation. So, for example,

the beginning of the sentence has one idea, so you think this must be

the second part, but no, something very different is the second part. And this is

a very strong emphasis on this expectation. When I give you some

example sentences you understand what I'm talking about.

"Despite" and "in spite of" - these are exactly the same, except one word - three

words for this one. But they work the exact same way,

you can interchange them. One mistake that many people do, they say: "in despite

of" or "this despite of something" - they mix them. Be very careful, "despite", your phrase,

"in spite of", your phrase. Don't mix the two up. There are two different things,

with the same meaning. This will be much clearer once I put up some example,

so let's do that. Let's start with "although", "though" and "even though". I have

basically the same sentence, four different ways.

"Although the exam was difficult, I think I did well". Now here the contrast is

between difficult and doing well. That's the contrast. Difficult means

doing badly but here's an opposite. Very easy, I start with "although". I'll

I'll give you the opposite, here is your subject and here is your

verb, and then here's your subject, and here's your verb again. We won't talk

about the extra clause at the end there. That's your main one. Now,

same sentence I can switch it around. I can say: "I think I did well

although the exam was difficult". Beginning and doesn't matter the only

difference would be the comma. If you put this as the second clause - no

comma. If you begin the sentence with the adverb marker - you have a comma. "I think I

did well though the exam was difficult." Yeah, so that's my mistake there,

sorry about that. Here we have it in the second part. I

I could put "although" here, I could put "though" here. Both would be okay.

Doesn't change the meaning of the sentence, one is just informal, one is

just regular. Here what I did is I wanted to show you how to put it at

the end. So, I split up the sentence into two. "The exam was difficult." Period,

sentence is finished. "I think I did well, though". Now here I put a comma when I put

though at the end. Now again, this is informal, this is how people speak.

Sometimes you can have it in writing, but not in formal writing. But you see how I

can put this at the end, I can't put "although" here, that doesn't work. You have

to be used "though" at the end of the sentence in informal situations. Now, here

I change the sentence a little bit. "Even though the exam was easy,

I failed". Now, what's the difference here? "The exam was difficult, I think I did

well". So that there is a contrast, but it's not very strong contrast. Here,

"the exam was easy", so if I hear: "the exam was easy", I expect that you did very well.

That's the whole idea, but I failed, that's drastic. Drastic means that it

gets a completely different result than what I expected. That's why I'm using the

"even though". "Even though" it was easy - I failed. This should not happen after this.

So the difference is so strong from the expectation that you want to

use "even though" to emphasize, that give me that difference. I hope

everybody understands that more or less, their exact same. In most situations you

can use any one of the three. It won't make that much of a difference. This one

has a certain feeling to it of a strong difference. So, when you're writing an

essay, for example, sometimes it will make a difference "even though" or "although", but

usually not. Let's look at "despite" and "in spite of". Now, let's look at

"despite" and "in spite of". So first of all, "despite his best efforts the man just

couldn't succeed". Sorry, I forgot to put a little period there at the end. Now,

first of all what does it means? It means he tried his best, he tried and tried, and tried

but always failed, could never succeed. Now, what do you notice about

this sentence? Here, there's no verb, it's only a phrase. This is what we call

a phrase. Here you have your regular independent clause with your subject and

your verb. "In spite of his best efforts the man just couldn't

succeed". Exactly the same meaning. This one expression versus the other.

Again, I can change it around. "The man just couldn't succeed despite his best

efforts". "The man just couldn't succeed in spite of his best efforts", same meaning.

Another way we can use "despite" and "in spite of" is with a gerund - an "ing verb".

This is called a gerund, it's an "ing verb", but we use it like a noun. So here the

phrase is "being on time to the lecture", not so important. So, "despite being on

time" means although he was on time. See, I can mix them up, it's exact same meaning.

We were not admitted, we were not allowed inside. So, keep in mind, "despite" and "in

spite of" mean the same as "although", but "despite" and "in spite of" we use with a

phrase, "although" we use with a cause, otherwise same meaning. If you're

not sure and you still have some questions please go to engvid.com.

There's a quiz there, you can try all the things out and ask your questions. And

yeah, I'll see you next time. Thanks