Dependent and Dependant

Dependent and Dependant

Writers following British writing convention often confuse dependent and dependant. Those following US writing convention have an easier time with these words because Americans do not use dependant.

Dependant

A dependant is a person who is dependent on someone else. (For example, a child is dependent on its parents. Therefore, a child is a dependant of its parents.)

Example:
  • All embassy staff and their dependants must be at the airport by 6 o'clock.
  • (In this example, the word dependants means spouses and children.)

Dependent

The word dependent is an adjective meaning contingent on, relying on, supported by, or addicted to.

Example:
  • I am dependent on the weather for a safe crossing.
  • (I am reliant on the weather.)

See Also

What are nouns? What are adjectives? List of easily confused words