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Despite – IELTS word of the day

Today’s word from the Academic Word List is



This is a slightly unusual word for the Academic Word List as it is largely grammatical in function. The problem in using it is that it is used with different constructions:

Use with nouns and noun phrases

Despite the increasing popularity of e-books, there is still every reason to believe that the traditional publishing industry will survive.

You should note that it is quite possible to use despite + noun + phrase

Despite all the efforts that have been made to save these endangered species, they are likely to become extinct in the foreseeable future.

You should also note that it is quite common to use despite + ing form:

Some endangered species continue to survive despite having lost their natural environment

Use with “the fact that”

The traditional publishing industry is likely to survive despite the fact that e-books are increasingly popular.

Despite and In spite of – some common mistakes

These two are almost identical and are sometimes defined in terms of each other. You should be careful of these mistakes:

inspite of (there are 3 words “in” “spite” “of”

despite of (despite is not followed by “of”


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More exercises on the Academic Word List


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2 Responses to Despite – IELTS word of the day

  1. Natalia March 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Hello, Dominic.

    First of all, thank you very much for such a great online resource! It is very helpful and well organized too. My special thank you for your everyday updates and sharing your knowledge for free.

    My question is about the second example: “Despite all the efforts that have made to save these endangered species, they are likely to become extinct in the foreseeable future.”

    Correct me, if I am wrong, but shouldn’t it be “efforts that have BEEN made”?

    Thank you.

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