Although, even though vs. despite

Although and even though have a similar meaning to despite and in spite of. We use all of these words to say that a thing is surprising, unusual, or unexpected.

While the meaning of these words is similar, there is a difference in how we use them.

Although and even though are conjunctions. They have the same meaning. In spoken English we can use even though or though instead of although. We use them with this structure:

  • although + a clause
  • even though + a clause
  • though + a clause

Despite and in spite of are prepositions, and have the same meaning. They are used with this structure:

  • despite + noun, or
  • despite + verb + -ing
  • in spite of + a noun, or
  • in spite of + verb + -ing
Although, even though vs. despite
Here are some examples showing us that although / even though and despite / in spite of are similar in meaning, but are used with different structures.
although, even though, though (+ clause)

Even though he's a millionaire, he lives in a very small flat.
He lives in a very small flat, even though he's a millionaire.

Although / even though / though he's much older than the others, he won the race.
He won the race, although / even though / though he's much older than the others.
despite, in spite of (+ verb + -ing)

Despite / in spite of being a millionaire, he lives in a very small flat.
He lives in a very small flat, despite / in spite of being a millionaire.
Despite / in spite of being much older than the others, he won the race.
He won the race, despite / in spite of being much older than the others. 
although, even though, though (+ clause)

Even though / although / though it rained a lot, I enjoyed the holiday.
Even though / although / though they have a lot of money, they're still not happy.
despite, in spite of (+ noun)

Despite / in spite of the rain, I enjoyed the holiday.
Despite / in spite of their money, they're still not happy.

 

See also:
Despite, in spite of
Confusing words: although vs. though

test_upper4 Practice exercise 1. (upper-intermediate) Despite, in spite of, although, even though ex.1
test_upper4 Practice exercise 2. (upper-intermediate) Despite, in spite of, although, even though ex. 2