Malgré, en dépit de = Despite, in spite of

Look at these sentences:

Malgré la pluie, nous sommes quand même sortis.
Despite the rain, we still went out.

Je l'aime malgré moi.
I love her in spite of myself.

Il l'a fait en dépit de lui-même.
He did it in spite of himself.

Malgré les conseils de ma mère, je demeurais indécis.
Despite my mother's advice, I remained undecided.

En dépit des conseils de ma mère, je demeurais indécis.
In spite of my mother's advice, I remained undecided. 

NOTE that just like in English despite [someone/something] and in spite of  [someone/something] are interchangeable, so in French you can use either malgré [quelque chose/quelqu'un] or en dépit de [quelque chose/quelqu'un]

The preposition malgré is closer to despite, whereas the expression en dépit de is closer to in spite of.

 

When it comes to people (e.g. despite myself), you can either use:

malgré + moi/toi/elle/lui/nous/vous/elles/eux  

Je l'ai suivi malgré moi.
I followed him in spite of myself.

OR

en dépit de + moi-même/toi-même/elle-même/lui-même/nous-mêmes/vous-mêmes/eux-mêmes/elles-mêmes.

Je l'ai suivi en dépit de moi-même.
I followed him in spite of myself.

Special cases

- The expression en dépit du bon sens means against all common sense.

Il l'a vendu en dépit du bon sens.
He sold it against all common sense.

- In some cases, the expression malgré tout (despite everything) can also mean anyway.

Je le ferai malgré tout.
I will do it anyway.

 
See also Malgré le fait que + Le Subjonctif and En dépit de + infinitive = despite/in spite of + [doing something]

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je l'ai suivi en dépit de moi-même.
I followed him in spite of myself.


Je le ferai malgré tout.
I will do it anyway.


Il l'a fait en dépit de lui-même.
He did it in spite of himself.


Je l'aime malgré moi.
I love her in spite of myself.


En dépit des conseils de ma mère, je demeurais indécis.
In spite of my mother's advice, I remained undecided. 


Malgré la pluie, nous sommes quand même sortis.
Despite the rain, we still went out.


Il l'a vendu en dépit du bon sens.
He sold it against all common sense.


Malgré les conseils de ma mère, je demeurais indécis.
Despite my mother's advice, I remained undecided.


Je l'ai suivi malgré moi.
I followed him in spite of myself.


Malgré tout, il a finalement réussi.
Despite everything, he finally succeeded.


Q&A Forum 4 questions, 11 answers

Can malgré be used with verbs?

Asked 4 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Meghan,

As 'malgré que' is frowned upon in French ( and regarded as bad French) it is always safer to avoid it and use 'bien que ' instead if followed by a verb rather than a noun.

e.g

Bien qu'il m'ait promis de venir, je l'attends toujours Even though he promised to come, I am still waiting for him

Elle garde l'espoir bien qu'elle soit déçue She remains hopeful although she is disappointed

Il est venu me voir bien qu'il soit en retard He came to see me even though he is late

Il est parti faire du jogging bien qu'il soit souffrant = He went jogging even though he is not well

Please note that it is followed by the subjunctive.

Are you thinking of something along these lines?

Malgré avoir mangé j'ai encore faim. 

Yes, but my research from yesterday seemed to imply that for something like that, you would use bien que?

Yes, it should be. A quick inquiry with a native speaker revealed, however, that you could also say, malgré que j'ai mangé, ...

Can malgré be used with verbs?

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Malgré le fait que + Le Subjonctif and En dépit de + infinitive = despite/in spite of + [doing something] Not Available

Asked 1 year ago
What's your question?
There was some issue with the file at that moment. It's available now. Thanks.

Malgré le fait que + Le Subjonctif and En dépit de + infinitive = despite/in spite of + [doing something] Not Available

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So is this test question response: "Malgré la fumée, il commença à mieux respirer." a time when we should use passé simple when saying something?

Asked 1 year ago

Hi Robert,

unfortunately this is impossible to tell out of context.

The passé simple is only used in literary French and practically never in spoken French. It is used when you are talking about an action which happened in the past, whose consequences are also contained in the past and don't extend to the present. Also, it indicates usually that the action happened at a certain time An example would be a story or fairy tale, "Once upon a time there lived a kind...."

The passé composé has all but replaced the passé simple. However, in deciding between the two you would tend to use passé composé for actions in the past which happen at an indefinite or unspecified time and whose results extend into the present.

J'ai trop mangé ce midi. -- I ate too much at noon.
Il a emprunté une importante somme d'argent. -- He borrowed an important sum of money.

La bataille de Marignan eut lieu en 1515. -- The battle of Marignon took place in 1515.
Jean se leva, sortit de la pièce et ne revint plus. -- Jean got up, left the room and didn't return anymore.

-- Chris

So is this test question response: "Malgré la fumée, il commença à mieux respirer." a time when we should use passé simple when saying something?

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En dépit d'elle Katia commença à espérer

Why is this incorrect?
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star

Bonjour Jennifer,

As the lesson states:

or people (e.g. despite myself), you can either use: - malgré + moi/toi/elle/lui/nous/vous/elles/eux

OR

en dépit de + moi-même/toi-même/elle-même/lui-même/nous-mêmes/vous-mêmes/eux-mêmes/elles-mêmes

So because the question had "elle" the correct answer can only be malgré. For en dépit de to be correct, you'd have to use elle-même.

Ah, thank you, missed that
Ah, thank you, missed that

This could be made clearer in the lesson.

En dépit d'elle Katia commença à espérer

Why is this incorrect?

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Getting that for you now.