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    catch up on/with + despite/in spite

    Hi there!
    My 2 questions:

    What's the difference between following phrasal verbs: 1) catch up on sth 2) catch up with sth
    Cause on many websites I found different opinions, some of them tell that they're equivalents, but not always.

    And the second question -- what is the proper usage of: 1) despite 2) in spite of -- I know that they're meaning the same but I see that people use them in a different way. For example I remember from my english classes that we cannot use the form 'I've done my homework despite I'm lazy', but 'I've done my homework despite the fact that I'm lazy' is ok. So once again, what's the difference and how I'm supposed to use them correctly?

    I hope that you get what I mean ;).

    Thanks in advance, greetings from Poland.

    PS. If I did any mistakes while writing this post correct me, please -- I'm doing my best to improve my English but it isn't always so easy…

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409

    Re: catch up on/with + despite/in spite

    ...but I see that people use them in a different way

    Yes, but I can well imagine that if you asked them why they had used one or the other, they would be hard pressed to give you a clear reason.

    I can try to give you my reason, and what determines my choice:
    Take these two sentences:
    1. We had a great time on holiday, despite the bad weather.
    2. In spite of the rain, the cricket match continued.

    Both mean "without being affected by". For me, 'in spite of' has the added sense of 'defiance'; so that in (2), the cricket went on in defiance of the rain, whereas in (1), it has the sense, 'we had a great time even though/although the weather wasn't the best'.

    As well, 'in spite of', with three words, which allows the speaker to emphasize and give full weight to each word, particularly 'spite', so that it lends gravity, a touch more 'formality' to the sentence. - "In spite of repeated warnings, you have persisted in your tardiness. I therefore have no other choice..."

    Can you think of some sentences with both?

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