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Question

I tried a synthesis question (despite) without using ‘the fact that’ after ‘despite’. My answers are (a) and (b) below. The position of ‘despite’ is fixed.

Question: Smith is not interested in participating in the tournament. He was asked to participate by his coach. 

My answers:

(a) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his having no interest in it. (I added ‘his’ to tie back to Smith but don’t know if this is the correct way to do it)

(b) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his disinterest in it. 

Thank you for teaching me. 

 

 

Answer

(a) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his having no interest in it. (I added ‘his’ to tie back to Smith but don’t know if this is the correct way to do it)

The bolded “his” in this sentence is redundant.

(b) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his disinterest in it.

This sentence is grammatically sound.

Generally, synthesis questions involving the word “despite” can be approached in the following ways:

  1. So-and-so  …… despite x-ing (x = verb) ……
    e.g. Peter was late despite leaving the house early in the morning.
  2. So-and-so  …… despite his/her y (y = noun)
    e.g. Lucy emerged top in class despite her laziness.
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(a) sounds very awkward. I would go with (b).

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Thank you.

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One possible angle to consider:

(b) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament (by his coach) despite his lack of interest in it (the tournament)

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“(a) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his having no interest in it. (I added ‘his’ to tie back to Smith but don’t know if this is the correct way to do it)”

The main idea is that Smith does not want to participate in the tournament. The use of ‘despite’ is to indicate that something/someone could have changed this. Therefore, we would write:

Smith is not interested in participating in the tournament despite being asked by his coach.

In your answer, you do not need to use ‘his’ – it is understood.

“(b) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his disinterest in it. “

This is wrong usage of ‘disinterest’. ‘Disinterest’ means impartiality, not uninterested.

“Thank you for teaching me.”

Always delighted to help polite and receptive people.

1 Reply 1 Like

@Joy of Learning 111, thank you very much for the clear explanation. :))

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I would say:

Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his lack of interest.

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My english is half past six, just one concern about maintaining the information interigity of the original text.

It seems the “coach” is missing in the answer. Although I can’t think of an answer with the given text to include the “coach”, without it seems like it doesn’t convey the full information of the original text.  

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Thank you, Ender for pointing this out. It was an error on my part. Inclusion of the coach is necessary in an academic context. 

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Good point!

Smith was asked to participate in the tournament by his coach despite his lack of interest.

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My answer would be : “Smith is not interested in participating in the tournament despite being asked by his coach (to do so).”

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I think that would change the semantics quite a bit.  It changes the cause and effect.  It would mean that the coach failed to encourage Smith to show more interest.  The previous statements connote the idea that Smith is being forced to participate despite his disinterest.

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Question: Smith was asked to participate in the tournament by his coach. He is not interested in participating in it.

Rearranging the two sentences, what would the answer be then?

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Smith is not interested in participating in the tournament despite being asked by his coach to do so.

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