"Despite" - what part of the speech?
In Russian, the preposition "despite" can easily be confused with the homonymous adverbial "not looking." After all, they sound the same, but they are written differently. Therefore, if you have a problem with the spelling of this word, immediately ask the question about what part of the speech the word "despite." If the preposition, write together, if the participle is separate. But how to distinguish where what?
"Despite" is a preposition and is written together
When the word “despite” has a concessive meaning and can be replaced with the word “regardless”, it is a pretext, and it should be written together. For example: “Despite (despite the fatigue), the guys did not go to bed, - they really wanted to hear the story of Semen’s grandfather.” You can still test yourself this way: if without the prefix "not" in the word "despite" a sentence with this word loses all meaning, then feel free to write "despite" together.
But when in the sentence the word “not looking” acts as a verbal adverb, it needs to be written separately. The verbal adverb is pronounced “not looking” in the same way as the preposition “notwithstanding”, but it is written separately.Check yourself this way.
“Not looking” is a participle and is written separately.
If, in the case of “not looking”, the participle “omits” the particle “not”, then the meaning of the phrase with this participle will change to the opposite. Example: "Without looking down, Vaska slowly walked along the eaves." If you omit the "not", you get: "Looking down, Vaska slowly walked along the eaves." As you can see, the sentence makes sense, but the meaning is completely opposite.
These are the basic ways with which you can test yourself, correctly identify part of speech, and write the word “despite” exactly as the rules of the Russian language require.