Despite vs. In Spite of | Difference, Examples & Use
Despite and in spite of are both prepositions meaning “regardless of,” “even though,” or “notwithstanding.” They can be used interchangeably.
- Despite is always written as one word (never “despite of“).
- In spite of is always written as three words (never “inspite of”).
How to use them in a sentence
Despite and in spite of are always used in a subordinate clause to contrast with information given in the main clause of a sentence.
They’re typically used before nouns, gerunds, and phrases containing a relative pronoun (e.g., “what,” “who”).
Despite oneself or in spite of oneself
Despite oneself and in spite of oneself are phrases used to mean that someone did something even though they did not expect or want to. Both phrases are acceptable and can be used with any reflexive pronoun (e.g., “myself,” “herself,” “himself”).
Other interesting language articles
If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
US vs. UK spellings
Frequently asked questions
- What does in spite of mean?
In spite of is a preposition used to mean “regardless of,” “notwithstanding,” or “even though.”
It’s always used in a subordinate clause to contrast with the information given in the main clause of a sentence (e.g., “Amy continued to watch TV, in spite of the time”).
- What does despite mean?
Despite is a preposition used to mean “regardless of,” “notwithstanding,” or “even though.”
It’s used in a subordinate clause to contrast with information given in the main clause of a sentence (e.g., “Despite the stress, Joe loves his job”).
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.