“a pesar de” in Spanish – Meaning and use of this phrase

Welcome to our grammar lesson about the Spanish phrase a pesar de.

a pesar de is one of the most frequent connectors in Spanish.

In this lesson, we will learn the meaning and use of this phrase, with example sentences.

At the end you’ll find a Quiz and an Exercise for practice.

Meaning of “a pesar de”

a pesar de is a connector that is commonly translated in English as despite…, in spite of…

a pesar de = despite, in spite of

It introduces a partial obstacle that doesn’t stop an action from occurring.

Use

Sometimes, a pesar de introduces a noun or a pronoun:

A pesar de la lluvia, vamos a la parque.
Despite the rain, we go to the park.

A pesar de mis padres, he comprado la consola.
In spite of muy parents, I’ve bought the console.

Lo hago a pesar de ti.
I do it in spite of you.


It can also introduce a verb in the infinitive:

A pesar de tener poco dinero, Pablo vive en un buen apartamento.
Despite having little money, Pablo lives in a good apartment.

A pesar de no hablar español, trabajamos en España.
Despite not speaking Spanish, we work in Spain.


Another possibility: it can introduce a sentence, with a conjugated verb (a verb not in the infinitive).

In this case, a pesar de becomes a pesar de que.

Let’s rephrase the two examples above, this time with a conjugated verb:

A pesar de que tiene poco dinero, Pablo vive en un buen apartamento.

A pesar de que no hablamos español, trabajamos en España.


“a pesar de eso”, “a pesar de todo”…

“a pesar de…” can introduce even more types of words, creating useful expressions.

For example:

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

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

Nuestros rivales son fuertes, pero ganaremos a pesar de todo.
Our rivals are strong, but we’ll win nevertheless.

Practice

Quiz

Take this short Quiz to test your knowledge about “a pesar de”:


Exercise

The following pairs of sentences have the same meaning, but the grammar structure is a bit different.

Fill the gaps choosing between “a pesar de” and “a pesar de que”:

1) ____ ser ricos, no compramos cosas caras.
Despite being rich, we don’t buy expensive things.

2) ____ somos ricos, no compramos cosas caras.
Despite being rich, we don’t buy expensive things.

3) ____ tengo hambre, no voy a comer.
Despite being hungry, I’m not going to eat.

4) ____ tener hambre, no voy a comer.
Despite being hungry, I’m not going to eat.

Solutions:
1) A pesar de
2) A pesar de que
3) A pesar de que
4) A pesar de