Main Difference – In spite vs. Despite
In spite and Despite are two words that confuse many English learners. These two terms are similar in meaning, and both of them are used to show a contrast between two things. Since, they are similar in meaning, they can be used interchangeably. However, you should always pay attention when you are using the two terms interchangeably as in spite is always followed by the preposition of while despite is not followed by a preposition. This can be identified as the main difference between in spite and despite and, in this article we are going to explain how these two terms are used in writing.
In spite – Meaning and Usage
In spite is always followed by the preposition of. In spite is used to show a contrast between two things and it has the same meaning as regardless of, even though or notwithstanding etc. Remember that this term is written as three words; in, spite and of. The following examples will clarify the meaning and the usage of this word better.
She failed the exam in spite of all her hard work.
They sold all the ice-creams in spite of the cold and rainy weather.
They lost the game in spite of the fact they practiced hard all week.
He ran fast in spite of his weight.
Despite – Meaning and Usage
Despite means the exact same as in spite. The main difference between in spite and despite is that despite is not followed by the preposition of. In addition, despite is considered to be more formal than in spite and this is more preferred in academic and formal writing. Some people also prefer despite, because it is shorter. However, the most important thing to know is that both these terms can be used interchangeably. Therefore, the above-given examples can be replaced by despite.
She failed the exam despite all her hard work.
They sold all the ice-creams despite the cold and rainy weather.
They lost the game despite the fact they practiced hard all week.
He ran fast despite his weight.
Many people do the mistake of placing the preposition of after despite. Remember that of can never follow despite. It is only placed after in spite.
He wore a sweater in spite of the hot weather,
He wore a sweater despite of the hot weather. ×
He wore a sweater despite the hot weather.
Difference Between In spite and Despite
In spite means without being affected by the particular factor mentioned.
Despite means without being affected by the particular factor mentioned.
Both words have the same meaning.
In spite is always followed by the preposition of.
Despite does not follow the preposition of.
In spite is considered to be less formal than despite.
Despite is considered to be a bit formal than in spite.