Being dependant …or dependent?

There are many words in the English language that can be confusing; when you are whizzing through the content of the writing, it is easy to use the wrong spelling of a word and spell check won’t always pick it up!

The word dependent/dependant is one of those that nearly tripped me up recently so here is your quick guide:



The word dependant refers to a person and is a noun.

A dependant is a person who is dependent on or who relies on someone else in order to live. (For example, a child is dependent on its parents. Therefore, a child is a dependant of its parents.)


·        All embassy staff and their dependants must be at the airport by 6 o’clock. Description:

(The word dependants means spouses and children.)


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

  • The safety of the trip was weather dependent.
  • She is dependent on chocolate; it gets her through the day.


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