Contrasting Ideas

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There are a number of formulas used when contrasting ideas in English. Here are some of the most common:

  • We'd love to stay for dinner, but we have got to get going.
  • They decided to stay in the area, in spite of their problems with the local residents.
  • Despite the difficulties of a long journey, Peter decided to visit India.
  • Getting a good job is hard work, however, most people eventually find one with patience.
  • There were a number of people who came, although the hotels were not equipped to handle them all.

After you study these constructions, take the contrasting ideas quiz to check your understanding.

More English Functions

Construction

FormulaExampleExplanation
the main statement, but contrasting statementI'd really like to come to the film, but I have to study tonight.Use a comma or semicolon (;) with 'but'. 'But' is the most common way to show contrasting ideas.
the main statement, in spite of contrasting statement OR in spite of contrasting statement, main statementThey continued on their journey, in spite of the pouring rain.Use 'in spite of' plus a noun, noun phrase or gerund
the main statement, despite contrasting statement OR Despite the contrasting statement, main statementThey continued on their journey, despite the pouring rain.Use 'despite' plus a noun, noun phrase or gerund
the main statement, although contrasting statement OR Although contrasting statement, main statementWe wanted to buy a sports car, although we knew that fast cars can be dangerous.Use 'although' with a subject and a verb.
Format
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Your Citation
Beare, Kenneth. "Contrasting Ideas." ThoughtCo, Apr. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/how-to-contrast-ideas-1211123. Beare, Kenneth. (2017, April 2). Contrasting Ideas. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-contrast-ideas-1211123 Beare, Kenneth. "Contrasting Ideas." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-contrast-ideas-1211123 (accessed November 22, 2017).