Despite vs. In Spite Of

Question from the Peanut Gallery today:
Where do we use “in spite of” and “despite”?

The short answer is: You can use them interchangeably to mean the opposite of “because.” They are synonyms used as propositions to show a contrast with what one might expect.

Examples:
Production from Well 84 did not increase despite perforating the new zone.
Production from Well 84 did not increase in spite of perforating the new zone.

Sometimes the phrase “in spite of the fact that” is used in front of the contrary clause. Just be sure not to use “in despite” or “despite of,” as these are not correct.

Both terms stem from the word “spite,” which means contempt, defiance, or despising. My mom often used the phrase “cut off your nose to spite your face” when I stubbornly refused to do something that would benefit me.
Fortunately I grew out of that, which is a good thing, because I need my nose to hold my eyeglasses up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: