How to express opposing ideas in English: despite, although, nevertheless, in spite of...


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I am going to teach you a very good and useful

trick on how to write essays, how to sound better when you speak, how to do better in

presentations. This tip is very useful if you are taking the TOEFL or the IELTS, or

if you are studying in college, university, or high school. Okay? So it's a very, very

useful trick. This trick is called... Well, I'm calling it: "How to Start Right". Okay?

So I'm going to teach you a great way to start, either in your essays or in your speech.

Oftentimes, if you're taking the TOEFL or the IELTS, you're going to be asked to give

your opinion on something. Okay? In general life, you might have to give your opinion

on something. Maybe somebody wants to know: what do you prefer? Do you prefer going to

a restaurant, or do you prefer eating at home? What's better? Okay?

When you give your opinion, it's a very good idea to start by saying what is good about

the opposite opinion. Okay? So, example: if I love restaurants, I want to eat at a restaurant,

instead of just saying: "I love restaurants." A better way to start this is by saying the

opposite, the good part of the opposite. So, how can I do this? Well, I can say something

like: "Although some people love eating at home, I prefer eating at a restaurant." Okay?

Another example. Imagine somebody wants to know if I like cats better or dogs better.

What is the better animal? Well, maybe if I like dogs better, I would say: "Although

some people prefer cats, I prefer dogs.", "Although some people prefer to live in cold

countries, I prefer warm countries." So, you can use this in essays, in speaking, in so

many different ways. It's always a good idea to start with the opposite of what you believe,

a good point of the opposite, and then to say your opinion. Okay?

So, I want you to try this. Okay? I'm going to give you a question, and I want you to

use this formula. What do you prefer, waking up early or waking up late? Okay? So:

"Although some people prefer waking up..., I prefer waking up..." and here you would say either

"early" or "late". Okay?

So, I've used this word "although". "Although" is to show this contrast. Okay? It's a very,

very great word, useful word when you're writing essays or speaking in a formal setting. Something

that has the same meaning as "although" is "even though". Okay? So very similar. "Even

though". And we can use the same formula. Okay? If I ask you: "Would you rather go to

a beach or go skiing?" You can say: "Even though some people love going to beaches,

I prefer skiing.", "Even though skiing is a lot of fun, I'd rather go to the beach."

Okay? So, again, you're offering the opposite idea first, and then your idea. Great for

TOEFL and IELTS speaking.

Okay, so let's look at these sentence structures a little bit closer. So, I have here my words:

"Although", "even though". What follows is a subject. A subject can be words like: "some

people", can be "he", "she", "we", "the teacher". Okay? So, the subject is pretty much a noun.

"Although Canada", okay? "Although Canada", "Even though Canada..." Now you need a verb.

"Even though Canada", can use the verb "is". "Even though Canada is a good country", okay,

if I was writing now, I would put a comma.

"Even though Canada is a good country, Canada has problems."

So what I'm trying to get at here is that if you use "although", you will have two parts

of a sentence. You will have part one before the comma, which has a subject and a verb;

and then you will have a second part, part two with a subject and a verb. Okay? So let

me give you one more example. "Although learning English is fun, many students find it difficult."

Okay? "Although some people like learning English, I prefer learning French." Okay?

Just some examples of these types of ideas.

So let's look at a couple more expressions to help you show the opposite view.

Okay, so let's look at some more words that you can use to show the opposing side. Okay? We

can use the word "despite". "Despite" is very similar to "although" and "even though".

Imagine this, imagine if I ask you if you would rather live in the city or in the countryside.

Would you rather live in a big city or in a quiet town in the countryside? Which would

you prefer? So, imagine if you prefer the city. Okay? You might say something like:

"Despite the advantages of living in the country, I prefer living in the city." Okay? "Despite

the advantages of living in the country, I prefer living in the city." Okay? "Despite the

calm of the country", "Despite the peace, the peacefulness of the country/the quiet

of the country, I prefer the city." Okay? So, again, this is a great way to start, either

in an essay or when you're giving an answer for TOEFL and IELTS, it's a great way to do this.

One thing here. "Despite" is a little bit different than "although" and "even though".

The way it is different is "despite" is followed by a noun. It is not followed by a noun and

a verb. Only a noun. Okay? So we could say: "Despite", "Despite my money", "Despite my

dog", "Despite the disadvantage", "Despite my teacher", "Despite global warming", okay?

So you don't need a verb. You just say "despite", noun, then you have a comma, and then you

can say subject, verb. Okay? So, "Despite", "Despite happiness", "Despite peace", "Despite

the nightlife, I would prefer to live in the country." Okay?

Another way you can show the opposing opinion is with the word "nevertheless". Okay? "Some

people like living in the city; nevertheless, I like living in the countryside.", "Some

people like playing computer games; nevertheless, I like reading books." Okay? "Some people

love their politicians; nevertheless, I find politicians are not always honest." Okay?

So, again, this is where you're giving the opposite view.

Finally, "nevertheless" has the same meaning as "however". "Some people like movies; however,

I don't. I prefer books." Okay? So, "however", "nevertheless", "despite", "even though" and

"although" are great ways to show the opposing viewpoint. Great for TOEFL and IELTS, as well

as presentations, and just everyday speaking and essay writing.

So, to practice these, I invite you to come visit our website at There,

you can do a quiz to make sure you understand all of these and how they're used, and that

way, you can improve your essay writing and your speaking. I also invite you to subscribe

to my channel. There, you will find more videos on a variety of different topics, such as

pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and many more.

Thank you for watching, and until next time, take care.