Because American and British English sometimes have different spellings for the same word, beginning writers and English language learners can easily become confused. In some cases, the spelling of a word also changes based on its usage in a sentence. Dependent is one such word. In the past, it had been spelled as dependant when used as a noun. As an adjective, writers used dependent. Modern English has all but dispensed with this differentiation. It still exists in British English, though it is rarely enforced. Continue reading to find out in what situations you should use dependent and dependant.
Dependant as noun:
A single man with no dependants.
His four sons are dependant on him.
Dependant as adjective:
Use of Dependant:
Dependant is an older word than dependent. Historically, dependant was the preferred spelling in British English when used as a noun. As an adjective, dependent has always been the preferred spelling. This distinction is waning, however, with dependent being with increased frequency in all contexts.
Determine if you are a student dependant (under 23), a mature student dependant (over 23 but living with parents on January 1st, 2016), or an independent mature student (over 23) who can prove independent living prior to October 1st, 2015. [The Irish Times]
Use of Dependent:
Dependant or dependent:
Dependent and dependant are two variants of the same word. Dependant was the historically preferred variant when used as a noun in British English, but today both variants are accepted. American English uses dependent as a noun, and dependent is the adjective variant in both American and British English. Dependent will always work, so avoid dependant by remembering the a it shares with avoid. If you still can’t decide whether you should use dependant or dependent, you can refer back to this article for guidance.