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.....Despite/Although...... She is clever, she often makes mistake.

Why Despite is incorrect in above example?

2 Answers 2

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‘in spite of’, ‘despite’ and ‘although’ are all used to show contrast and are used for the same meaning. The only difference is the way they are used; the structure in which they are used.

‘in spite of’ and ‘despite’ are placed in front of a noun or pronoun:

We had a great time in spite of the rain.

We had a great time despite the rain.

Despite studying very hard, he still didn’t pass the exam. ‘studying’ is the noun form of the verb ‘study’

‘despite’ does NOT have ‘of’ after it:

Despite the rough weather they still set sail. NOT, Despite of the bad weather...

‘although’ is used in front of a subject and a verb:

We had a great time although it rained.

Although he studied very hard, he still didn’t pass the exam.

If ‘in spite of’ and ‘despite’ are used in front of the phrase ‘the fact that’ then they can be used with a subject and a verb: In spite of the fact that he studied very hard, he still didn’t pass the exam. Despite the fact that it rained we still had a great time.

‘even though’ can be used the same way as ‘although’. For most native speakers ‘even though’ is slightly stronger than ‘although’:

Even though we were in a terrible hotel, we had a great time.

Source

In the context above, you would need to use:

Despite the fact that she was clever.

Since despite must be used in front of a noun (the fact).

Or

Although she was clever.

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  • You mentioned - ‘in spite of’ and ‘despite’ are placed in front of a noun or pronoun: So Despite she(pronoun) should be correct
    – Pradeep
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 14:15
  • Ah, sorry. The above is all correct, and you can use pronouns, however, it is something to do with the word choice (sorry for not being on the ball here!). You could say despite her intelligence.
    – Gamora
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 14:22
  • @Pradeep You could also use despite she being clever. It's the use of despite followed immediately with she was that causes the problem. (Note that the reverse: you cannot use although she being or although the fact she was. In those constructions, only despite works. It's just the way the two words are used differently in the construction of sentences.) Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 16:04
  • @Jason despite she being clever does not at all sound natural to me, I would again use despite her being clever
    – Gamora
    Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 16:07
  • @Bee I agree that her being sounds better than she being, but that wasn't my point. (The subject versus object pronoun is a different issue.) My point was about the particular verb use—and what, if anything, needs to come between it and the pronoun (of whatever form). And how despite and although require those different constructions. Even though both words can be used. Commented Jun 10, 2019 at 18:58
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Although/even though she is clever....

  • or - In spite of/despite being clever...
  • or - In spite of/despite her cleverness....
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    Can you explain why your answers are correct?
    – Davo
    Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 12:31

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