บทเรียนย่อย 2

We use words and phrases such as althoughdespite and in spite of to contrast different ideas. But what are the differences between them? Learn about these linking devices in this session.

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Contrasting linking words and phrases

Brave or foolish?

Would you do something that you knew was dangerous? Here's Ken:

It was awesome. Even though I know it was incredibly risky I went out in the thunderstorm with my umbrella up. Although there was lots of lightning I wasn't struck. It was a fantastic light show. Despite not being hurt my mates were really worried. They think I was lucky not to have been killed. In spite of the danger I think I'd do it again. Next time I won't take an umbrella, however. It kept me dry but it was not a good idea.

Look at the words in bold, they all do a similar thing. They link the text together in a way that shows a contrast between two clauses, sentences or ideas.

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Even though / though / although

Even though

This conjunction forms part of a sentence that doesn't make sense just by itself, it needs something more to give it meaning. This is called a subordinate or dependent clause. For example:

  • Even though I know it was incredibly risky...

This sentence doesn't really have any meaning by itself. The use of even though lets us know that there is a contrast with something else. Let's look at the other part of this sentence:

  • I went out in the thunderstorm...

This does make sense by itself. The conjunction goes before the dependent clause. 

  • Even though I know it was incredibly risky I went out in the thunderstorm...

This can also be written as:

  • I went out in the thunderstorm even though I know it was incredibly risky.

Although and though

Although and though are also used in the same way.

  • (Al)though there was lots of lightning I wasn't struck.
  • I wasn't struck (al)though there was lots of lightning.

Although or though?
These two words are really the same. Though is a shortened form of although. Although is perhaps more formal.

Even though or (al)though?
Both these expressions have the same basic meaning. Even though adds more emphasis to the contrast. Note that we don't say even although.

Despite / in spite of 

  • Despite not being hurt my mates were really worried.
  • In spite of the danger I think I'd do it again.

These are both prepositional phrases that also highlight a contrast. They have the same meaning as even though and (al)though but as they are prepositions they must be followed by nouns.

Compare these sentences with the same meaning.

  • Even though I wasn't hurt my mates were really worried. Correct
  • Even though not being hurt my mates were really worried. Wrong
  • Despite not being hurt my mates were really worried. Correct ('not being hurt' is a noun phrase including the gerund 'being'. Remember a gerund is noun made from a verb).
  • Despite I wasn't hurt my mates were really worried. Wrong
  • In spite of not being hurt my mates were really worried. Correct 
  • In spite of I wasn't hurt my mates were really worried. Wrong

It is possible to use despite or in spite of before a pronoun by adding the fact

  • Despite the fact I wasn't hurt my mates were really worried.
  • In spite of the fact I wasn't hurt my mates were really worried.

To do

Even though we're sure you understand this topic, why not try our quiz to check?

Contrasting expressions

5 Questions

For each question choose the correct option to complete the sentence.

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Excellent! เยี่ยม! แย่หน่อย! คุณทำคะแนนได้:
x / y

Next

In the next activity we look at some more contrasting words, however and but.

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  • Contrasting expressions

    Even though I know it's incredibly risky I went out in the thunderstorm.

    Although
    I know it's incredibly risky I went out in the thunderstorm.

    T
    hough 
    I know it's incredibly risky I went out in the thunderstorm.

    Despite not being hurt my mates were really worried.
     
    In spite of not being hurt my mates were really worried