Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll learn how to use ‘despite’ and ‘whereas’ in IELTS Writing and Speaking.

These linking words will definitely make your formal communication more high-level on your IELTS Exam.

We had the following question in our closed Facebook group:

I saw a post on the internet that made me so confused. It’s about the use of ‘whereas‘. In Task 1 Writing, we need to write comparisons, right? I always use ‘whereas’ between two subjects. However, this post says:

“Overall, it is apparent that, whereas football remained popular throughout the period, basketball experienced a fall in popularity.”

So, instead of using whereas between two clauses, it is being used before the first clause.

This is correct, as long as you have those necessary commas.

It is a little clunky because it’s not a common structure, but it is grammatically correct.

Therefore, this sentence organization is excellent for comparing in your academic writing, and Speaking Part 3.


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We give you all the sentence structures you need for Academic Task 1 in 3 Keys IELTS.

Next question:

Is this the correct use of ‘despite’? It feels weird to me.

“Despite high rate of unemployment is severe in the city, over 150 people have been hired by this company.”

That sentence is not correct!

Despite must be followed by noun clause.

So, this would be correct: “Despite having a high rate of unemployment, …

However, ‘Despite the fact that’ can be followed by an independent clause, or subject + verb.

Getting a high score in Grammar is all about knowing the pieces of a few structures, and how they can be organized in different ways.

That’s what you get in 3 Keys IELTS!

Click here to sign up for your free IELTS Video Masterclass!


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