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Hello Teachers

In a Japanese forum for English learning I found a bit complicated question about how to use "despite".

The questioner presented seven sentences as follows:
(A1) Although I have a terrible cold, I will go out tonight.
(A2) Despite having a terrible cold, I will go out tonight.
(A3) Despite a terrible cold, I will go out tonight.
(B1) Although he was a club member, he could not get in.
(B2) Although a club member, he could not get in.
(B3) Despite being a club member, he could not get in.
(B4) Despite a club member, he could not get in.
The questioner said that all the sentences (A1) to (B3) sound OK, but he/she feels some oddness in (B4).
And what he/she is seeking is the reason why (B4) sounds weird despite the fact (A3) sounds OK.

I myself feel (B4) is odd but I can't explain the reason. Could you help me?
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IT doesn't quite match the other sentences, so it looks odd. IT does actually have a sensible meaning, but not that which is intended! I'll try to explain.

A terrible cold - from the context it is clear that this is the disease, rather than cold weather, or a cold 'something'. It is clear that the cold itself is the thing causing a problem - therefore despite (having) a cold.

A club member - To agree with the cold example, a club member would have to be causing him a problem whereas the club member should be solving the problem in this context. Without the 'being' it is not clear that the speaker is the member, in fact it sounds as if he is being accompanied by a club member. 'Despite an entry pass, he could not get in' 'Despite a bribe, he could not get in' 'Despite a club member, he could not get in'. In these examples he is not acutally an entry pass, a bribe or a club member himself.

So to make it clear that he is the member, you need the 'being'.
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What I answered to the questioner was like this;

"Despite a club member, he could not get in" is someway ambiguous about what "despite a club member" exactly means.
The sentence could be interpreted two ways:
(1) Despite his club membership, he could not get in.
(2) Despite the fact some club member recommended him, he could not get in.
The problem would not be a grammatical one but a semantic ambiguity.

That was my answer. What do you think about this answer?

paco
Hello Nona

We posted at the same time. Anyway thank you for your explanation. I feel it seems almost the same as that I answered to the questioner. This time I learned "despite" is a word that needs a logical clarity when it is used. Thank you again.

paco