INTERMEDIATE GRAMMAR

Despite, although, however ...
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Despite understanding the meaning, I find these words hard to use!

Despite, although and however are used to contrast two ideas. Look at the sentences below.

ALTHOUGH
Although he didn't finish school, he was successful.
He was successful although he didn't finish school.

Although she was only 15, she made the Olympic swimming team.
She made the Olympic swimming team although she was only 15.

Although he couldn't hear, he could compose beautiful music.
He could compose beautiful music although he couldn't hear.

DESPITE
Despite not finishing school, he was successful.
He was successful despite not finishing school.

Despite being only 15, she made the Olympic swimming team.
She made the Olympic swimming team despite being only 15.

Despite not being able to hear, he could compose beautiful music.
He could compose beatiful music despite not being able to hear.

HOWEVER
He didn't finish school; however, he was successful.
He didn't finish school. However, he was successful.

She was only 15; however, she made the Olympic swimming team.
She was only 15. However, she made the Olympic swimming team.

He could not hear; however, he could compose beautiful music.
He could not hear. However, he could compose beautiful music.

Notice that the grammar is different for the three words. This is because they are different parts of speech.
Despite is a preposition.
Although is a conjunction.
However is an adverb.