In English grammar, we use different elements to join words and form unique sentences. Among them, one of the most important ones that help indicate contrasting ideas in a sentence are the prepositions like in spite of and despite. However, most people tend to confuse their uses.
It is a fact that both the words in spite of and despite are prepositions, identical in terms of meaning to each other. They both mean the same thing and are used for the same purpose. They both show the idea of contrast in a sentence. That means they are similar to regardless of, even though, notwithstanding, etc. But there can be some subliminal differences between them according to which one can put them to proper use.
Despite vs In Spite of
Despite is a preposition that is used in a sentence primarily to show that regardless of a fact a particular thing happened. It shows the opposite ideas in a sentence.
Since it is a preposition, it is used before a noun or pronoun. And concerning the difference between despite and in spite of, despite is a single word and is not used as despite of. Moreover, despite seems to be a more formal term.
- Despite not being present today, I was given full marks.
In spite of
In spite of is exactly the same thing as despite. It means the same and is also used under the same context. However, the only possible difference is that in spite of is a little less formal than despite.
- In spite of having enough money, they couldn’t afford the car.
This is the basic and the simplest difference between the two identical prepositions.