What is the Difference Between "Despite" and "In Spite of"?
Posted by Issa and Published on Jun 03, 2012
In spite of is a general-purpose preposition of concession (i.e. accepting something as right, granting something as true or acknowledging defeat); despite is rather more formal.
- I love him, in spite of his faults.
- There seems little else that I can do in spite of my earnest pleas.
- Despite considerable efforts to proofread the book, it might still contain some errors.
- Large crowds are expected to line the river banks as they pass, despite a rainy forecast.
In spite of is a complex preposition -its meaning changes when any of its words is missing (e.g. in spite, spite of). It has a synonymous simple preposition despite, which must not be preceded by in or followed by of (e.g. in despite, despite of).
- He won the marathon in spite of/despite his injured left foot.
- In spite of/Despite Chuck's feelings of crisis, he couldn't see himself running on the streets in his pyjamas.
- Thomas Carlyle, in spite of/despite his tedious rhetoric, is a master of the sublime in prose style.
In spite of this/that or despite this/that can be interchangeably used to suggest that something is surprising, in view of what was said before.
- The train was an hour late. In spite of/Despite this, I managed to arrive to the office on time.
- Maria does not play chess regularly. In spite of/Despite this lack of enthusiasm, she won the tournament.