When I corrected my friend's grammar in a comment he said

Thanks for correcting me. I guess I need some grammar lesson despite studying for CPA.

I think he was supposed to say besides, not despite.

Grammar has nothing to do with CPA

  • Despite is the right term but the idea is off. Just because you study for something does not mean you know everything about it. "I guess I need some grammar lessons despite studying for x". He's wrong, too. – Lambie Jan 22 '18 at 17:36
  • I guess I need some grammar lessons besides(in addition to) studying cpa(certified public accounting). I think besides is what he was supposed to say. Besides sounds perfectly normal to me. – user68401 Jan 22 '18 at 17:41
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    It depends entirely on the intended shade of meaning (both words express relationships which could meaningfully apply). If you use despite you're emphasising the fact that you're definitely somewhat surprised / disappointed that having studied for CPA wasn't enough to prevent you from making some mistake that needed to be corrected (you'd have expected a better outcome). If you use besides there's no such implication (it just so happens you hadn't done enough of the right kind of study, but maybe you'd never thought much about it until you made that mistake). – FumbleFingers Jan 22 '18 at 18:10
  • ...as implied by @Lambie's "silent" correction, what you need is some grammar lessons (or feasibly a grammar lesson), not some grammar lesson. – FumbleFingers Jan 22 '18 at 18:13

Despite might not be the right word if grammar really had nothing to do with the CPA exam. But I think grammar has a great deal to do with the exam.

Here are a few sample questions from a CPA exam:

Which organization developed the framework most commonly used by the auditing profession for bench marking internal controls of non-issuers?

As specified in Title II of the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), which of the following non-audit services to audit clients are not prohibited from being performed by a registered public accounting firm if the pre-approved by the audit committee and disclosed to the SEC?

Which of the following is not a strategy through which an international manufacturing firm could manage the risk of changes in exchange rates?

Clearly, an advanced understanding of grammar is required to even understand the questions in the exam, let alone the study materials necessary to prepare the answers. So, what your friend is saying is:

I guess I need some grammar lesson[s] despite being involved in a process that requires an advanced understanding of grammar.

That is the word I would use, as well.

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