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Language tip of the week: despite

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc.

This week’s language tip helps with the preposition despite:



Never use of after despite.
✗ Recycling is a good way to manage waste despite of its cost.
✓ Recycling is a good way to manage waste despite its cost.
✗ Many people are successful in their jobs despite of the fact that they have no university diploma.
✓ Many people are successful in their jobs despite the fact that they have no university diploma.

Despite is frequently followed by a verb ending in -ing:
He made the team and despite playing mostly on the third and fourth lines he managed to score nine goals.
Despite not being able to vote (as I am not, technically, a citizen) I have always been proud to live and reside here.

You can also use the phrase in spite of in the same way:
Recycling is a good way to manage waste in spite of its cost.

Despite and in spite of mean exactly the same, but despite is much more frequent.

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Liz Potter

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