Comparison Words: Although, Whereas and Despite
  • 2-minute read
  • 19th March 2016

Comparison Words: Although, Whereas and Despite

Academic writing often involves comparing and contrasting arguments or opinions. There are many words you can use for this, each with their own specific meanings.

However, to ensure your written work is clear and compelling, it’s important to pick the right word for the occasion. In this post, we introduce three comparison words you might want to use: “although,” “whereas” and “despite.”

Although (But)

The term “although” is often a synonym for “but,” used when qualifying a statement or setting up a contrast or comparison. An example of a comparison might be:

This shirt is a good color, although that one is a better fit.

And, in terms of introducing qualifying information, we could say:

I own a car, although it is being repaired at the moment.

Here, “although” is used to qualify my car ownership with its current unavailability.

Since “although” is a subordinating conjunction, the independent clause (“I own a car”) and dependent clause (“it’s being repaired”) are separated with a comma.

This also applies if “although” appears at the beginning of a sentence, where it’s equivalent of saying “in spite of the fact that”:

Although I own a car, it is being repaired at the moment.

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

Whereas (By Contrast)

Another subordinating conjunction, “whereas” means “in contrast to” or “while at the same time.” It’s used for comparing two ideas, opinions or facts:

I’m a big Black Sabbath fan, whereas Harry is more into Justin Bieber.

In the above, “whereas” is used to highlight differing musical tastes. It can also be used at the start of a sentence to foreground the contrast:

Whereas fossil fuels produce a lot of air pollution, solar energy is comparatively clean.

Despite (Notwithstanding)

The preposition “despite” means “regardless of” or “without being prevented by” and sets something up as unexpected or defying convention:

Sheila ate her lunch outdoors despite the heavy rain.

The term “despite” here implies Sheila’s decision to eat outside in the rain is surprising. Another alternative to “despite” is the phrase “in spite of”:

In spite of problems during testing, we believe our results are conclusive.

“Despite” is generally preferred in academic writing due to being more succinct, though “in spite of” can be used to avoid repetition.

Comments (3)
JULIA
1st July 2021 at 16:33
THANK YOU!!! THIS IS SUCH USEFUL INFORMATION!!
GIRIJA
26th August 2021 at 15:37
The title says ' although' is used for comparison but it is not illustrated. I am not sure 'although' is used for comparison.
    Proofed
    26th August 2021 at 16:59
    Hi, Girija. We've added another example to the post now that will hopefully clarify how "although" can be used to make a comparison (i.e., as synonym for "but").

Upload a document

Instant Quote

Need more help perfecting your writing?

Proofed has the perfect editor!

Instant Quote

Price

You can also upload a document to get an instant quote

Icon of cloud upload

Drag & drop your file

or browse your computer

Browse from your device

Icon of cloud upload

Drop your file here!

Icon of loading status

Your file is being
uploaded!

More Writing Tips?
Trusted by thousands of leading
institutions and businesses

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.