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Sentence Patterns using "Despite..."

We use this sentence pattern when the results or actions are surprising or unexpected in relation to another thing.

"Despite" has the same meaning as "even though" and "although", but the grammar is different.
  • Even though it is hot, we will go.
  • Although it is hot, we will go.
  • Despite the hot weather, we will go.
"Despite" is only followed by a noun. "Even though" and "although" are followed by sentences. "Despite" is more common in writing than speaking, but it is okay to use it when speaking.

Despite + noun, + unexpected result/action
  • Despite her age, she won an Olympic gold medal. She is only 14 years old.
  • Despite her age, she won an Olympic gold medal. She is 55 years old.
  • Despite the rain, the game will continue.
  • Despite his high position in the company, he wasn't respected by his colleagues.
  • Despite the political tension in the country, we will open a new factory there.
We can also use a gerund. A gerund is "verb + ing" and it acts like a noun.

Despite + gerund, + unexpected result/action
  • Despite being late to the job interview, he got the job.
  • Despite eating a lot, she is skinny.
  • Despite working overtime every day, he didn't get the promotion.
  • Despite drinking coffee, I am still tired.
  • Despite working together for 10 years, they don't know each other well personally.
We can also change the order of the sentence.

Unexpected result/action + despite + noun
  • We will go despite the weather.
  • We are still friends despite her quitting our company.
  • He looks healthy despite being a heavy smoker.
  • I feel tired despite getting a good night's sleep.
  • We will continue with the project despite her opposition.
Bonus Tips and Points

1. Almost any time that we use a noun, it is also possible to use a noun clause.
  • Despite what he said, I still like him.
  • Despite what the weather will be, I still want to go.
  • Despite who his father is, she wants to get married to him.
  • I don't believe that despite what the newspaper says.
  • I will come and help you despite where you are.
  • I have had a good time on this trip despite catching a cold.
If we do not know the situation well, then we may have to infer or assume a lot of information in these sentences.
  • Despite what everybody says, he is a nice guy.
    (We can assume that many people say he is not a nice guy.)

  • Despite what she said, she likes Mark.
    (We can infer that she said something bad about Mark.)

  • Despite how it started, the meeting ended well.
    (We can assume that it did not start well.)
Real-World English Conversations

A) He is a senior manager despite his age.
B) How old is he?
A) He is only 28. He is the youngest senior manager in the company.
B) That's incredible. Good for him.

A) Despite studying for the test hard, she failed.
B) What happened?
A) I guess that she is not good at math.

A) I am going to go to the beach this weekend.
B) I heard there is going to be a lot of traffic and tons of people.
A) Despite that, I am still going to go. I think it will be fun.

A) Ben got into Harvard.
B) Really? I thought he was a bad student. He was always in trouble with his teachers.
A) That is true, but he always got good grades and he got an unbelievably high score on his SAT. So, despite all his problems, he still got into an Ivy League school.

Study these free English lessons to improve your English speaking. If you learn these common sentence patterns well, then your English speaking will improve greatly and you will be able to have fluent conversations in English in the near future! Study the lessons well, practice using them at home and in real life, and make sure to come back to review the material so you do not forget.

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