Spanish “A pesar de” – Meaning and Use

“A pesar de” is a connector in Spanish that is commonly translated as “despite, in spite of…”. It introduces a partial obstacle that doesn’t stop the main action from occurring. 

1. Meaning of “A pesar de”

We just said it! It means “despite, in spite of…”

2. Use of “A pesar de”

“A pesar de” can introduce a noun or a pronoun:

A pesar de la lluvia, salimos.
Despite the rain, we went out.

A pesar de mis padres, fui a la discoteca.
In spite of muy parents, i went to the disco.

Lo haré a pesar de ti.
I’ll do it in spite of you.

It can also introduce a verb in Infinitive form:

A pesar de tener una casa grande, nunca organiza fiestas.
Despite having a big house, he never organizes parties.

A pesar de no tocar bien la guitarra, a Mario le gusta dar conciertos.
Despite not playing the guitar well, Mario likes giving concerts. 

There is also the option to introduce sentences with a conjugated verb (not in Infinitive form), but in that case it needs to be “a pesar de que…”. Let’s see the same two sentences, but now with the verb in a form other than infinitive:

A pesar de que tiene una casa grande, nunca organiza fiestas.

A pesar de que Mario no toca bien la guitarra, le gusta dar conciertos.

3. “A pesar de eso”, “A pesar de todo”…

“A pesar de…” can introduce even more types of words!

For example, two very typical expressions are “a pesar de eso” and “a pesar de todo”:

  • A pesar de eso = despite that, in spite of that
  • A pesar de todo = nevertheless, despite everything

Here are example sentences with those two expressions:

Muchos bares están cerrados hoy. A pesar de eso, vamos a salir.
Many bars are closed today. Despite that, we are going out.

Tenemos muchas dificultades, pero a pesar de todo lo lograremos a pesar de todo.
We have many difficulties, but we’ll do it nevertheless.

4. Practice: A Quiz

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge!: