- English Grammar B2 Level - https://open.books4languages.com/english-b2-grammar -

Contrastive Clauses

Introduction

Contrastive clauses are used to emphasize the contrast between two clauses.

Form

Contrastive clauses contain the following expressions and positions:

Despite/In spite of

  • They have this structure:
    Despite/In spite of + noun/-ing form + …

Despite/In spite of the fact

  • They have this structure:
    Despite/In spite of the fact that + clause

However/Nevertheless

  • Clause 1 + , + however/nevertheless + , + clause 2
  • However/Nevertheless + , + clause 2

Still

  • It is usually used after a comma:
    Clause 1 + , + still + clause 2

Example

  • Despite having a horrible soundtrack, the movie was a success.
  • In spite of new technologies, traditional methods are still popular.
  • Despite the fact that he was capable of winning the game, he couldn’t.
  • In spite of the fact that she has long-sighted glasses, she doesn’t use them.
  • He was not the sharpest person in the company, however, he was promoted to unit manager.
  • Mental illness is decreasing. Nevertheless, many people can be diagnosed at early ages.
  • He has high cholestrol levels, still he eats fast food everyday.

Use

We use contrastive clauses to emphasize contrast between two clauses. Even though these clauses of concession have similar meanings, their usage in the sentence differ.

We use:

  • Despite and in spite of before nouns or -ing forms. They have the same meaning and when they precede the fact that, they introduce clauses;
  • However and nevertheless to indicate a contrast between two clauses. We use however in informal and nevertheless in formal situations;
  • We use still to express a surprising situation in contrast to the first clause.

Summary

Contrastive clauses are used to emphasize the contrast between two clauses.

Howevernevertheless, despite/in spite of, despite/in spite of the fact that, still… are some of the expressions used to emphasize this contrast. While nevertheless is more formal, however is more informal and still indicates something suprising in contrast to what was said before.

{see Concessive Clauses – 1 [1] and Concessive Clauses – 2 [2], B1 level}

The structure of however and nevertheless is:

  • We start with the first clause, followed by a comma, however or nevertheless, another comma and another clause. We can also start with however or nevertheless followed by a comma and another clause.

The structure of despite/in spite of is:

  • We start with despite of or in spite of followed by a noun or an -ing form.

The structure of despite/in spite of the fact that is:

  • We start with despite of the fact that or in spite of the fact that followed by a clause.

The structure of still is:

  • We start with the first clause followed by a comma followed by still and another clause.

For example:
“She was a brilliant student, however, she couldn’t pass her final exam.” = However indicates a contrast between two sentences.
“Many people receive university education. Nevertheless, most of them can’t find good jobs.” = Nevertheless introduces a contrast in the second clause.
“He couldn’t study much, still he got good marks.” = Still indicates a suprising situation.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.