1

Is it correct to say:

Despite my studying, I failed the exam.

instead of

Despite (me) studying, I failed the exam.

?

Is it less formal?

Thanks in advance.

1

The first example is fine, and is a little more 'formal' than the alternative:

Despite my studying, I failed the exam.

However, although some people might say your second example, it is wrong. The difference is that the first example uses "studying" as a noun - it is the name for the time you spent studying. In the second example, it is a verb. You don't need to use "me" and "I" in the same sentence.

The correct way to say it would be:

Despite studying, I failed the exam.

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