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Dependant vs. Dependent

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  Marius Alza  —  Grammar Tips
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Dependant vs. Dependent

So you saw "dependant" and "dependent" written both ways, used both as nouns and as adjectives, in all types of contexts and in both American and British English. In the end, are both forms correct, do both express the same thing?

If you are confused by the similarity between "dependant" and "dependent" and you're not sure if you can use both in any context or English vocabulary, then you should definitely read this article. We are going to clearly explain the difference between these two words and how you can easily remember when you should use each!

Dependant vs. Dependent

"Dependant" is always used as a noun, referring to the person that depends on someone else's financial support (a minor person, in general). The word is used in British English only.

"Dependent", on the other hand, can be used both as a noun and as an adjective. As a noun, it has the same meaning as "dependant" and can easily replace it in any context, according to the area where it is used. 

The only difference is that it's spelled this way only in American English. Anyway, as an adjective, it is always spelled in the "dependent" form and refers to a person or an element that depends on another element.

When do we use "dependant"?

You should only use "dependant" if you talk in British English, and always as a noun, not as an adjective.

Example: The man and his every dependant have applied for a job recently. - used as a noun referring to every person who depends on the man.

When do we use "dependent"?

You can always use "dependent" as an adjective referring to an element that depends on another. But at the same time, in American English, or when you are communicating with a person from the US, you can also use "dependent" as a noun, with the exact same meaning of "dependant", only spelled differently for more linguistic elegance.

Example 1: The man and his every dependent have applied for a job recently. - used as a noun referring to every person who depends on that man.

Example 2: His daughter is completely dependent on his financial support, even though she's 21 already. - an adjective describing a person that depends on someone else's financial support.

Example 3: The price of your reservation is dependent on the number of people you are coming with. - also used an adjective, referring to an element that is directly influenced by another.

Conclusion

In the end, yes, we can say that both "dependant" and "dependent" are correct forms, though the contexts in which they can be used correctly are slightly different. "Dependant" is a British noun only, whereas "dependent" can be used both as an American noun and adjective.

Dependant vs. Dependent

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