Despite, in spite of and despite of

Member's question

A question from Rupam in India:

Can we us ‘of’ with the word ‘despite’?

The Answer

Hi, Rupam. Thanks for your question.

Despite is a proposition that takes a noun (or noun phrase) as its object. It does not need ‘of‘:

Examples:

  1. She went swimming despite the cold.
  2. Despite her doubts, she eventually agreed to the proposal.
  3. I will vote for her despite her record on environmental issues.
  4. Despite living in Germany for several years , he still didn’t speak German.

Using ‘of’ with despite is not correct!

English learners sometimes confuse despite with in spite of (they have the same meaning!). 

  1. She went swimming in spite of the cold.
  2. In spite of her doubts, she eventually agreed to the proposal.
  3. I will vote for her in spite of her record on environmental issues.
  4. In spite of living in Germany for several years , he still didn’t speak German.

I hope that has cleared it up for you, Rupam.

Despite, despite of, in spite of 1