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Word comparisons

Note 78 – Dependent or Dependant


For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link – http://wp.me/p1x6Ui-4. If you would prefer to dive straight into note 78, then please read on…

Using the words dependent and dependant

There is quite a distinct difference in the meaning of these two words, according to Pocket Writer’s Handbook (Penguin Reference Library) by Martin Manser and Stephen Curtis.  They state that in British English, dependent is an adjective (e.g. dependent on someone of something) whereas dependant is a noun (her dependant child)  

The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus helps by explaining that the adjective dependent is followed by the word ‘on’ or ‘upon’.  It also defines dependent as follows:

  • Depending on a person or things for aid, support, etc.
  • Influenced or conditioned (by); contingent (on)
  • Subordinate; subject

Examples in sentences:

1. He is dependent on Katie for support

2. Project A that I am working on is dependent on project B going live

DEPENDANT

Here are a few definitions of dependant in The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus:

  • A person who depends on another organisation or person etc., for support, aid or sustenance, esp. financial support
  • Relative
  • Hanger-on
  • Client
  • Subordinate

Examples in sentences:

1. I have two dependants in my family

2. He is a dependant of Martin

American English spelling

Please note that in American English the noun and the adjective are both spelt ‘dependent’. 

That’s all for today.  As always, I am happy to take requests on the subject of grammar/punctuationmmar/writing tips or similar.  

How was your weekend?  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the children.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

This blog: https://mywritingnotebook.wordpress.com

My other blog: http://sandramadeira.wordpress.com

My website: www.tipsandluxuries.com (includes the introduction to my book)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Pocket Writer’s Handbook (Penguin Reference Library), Martin Manser and Stephen Curtis

The Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus

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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer www.sandramadeira.com

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