Word Choice: Dependant vs. Dependent

Dependant and dependent sound similar when spoken, and they look almost identical. But these are distinct words referring to different things. Furthermore, whether you are following American or British convention impacts which word choice is appropriate for your writing. In this blog I will briefly explain the difference between dependant and dependent, and explain the difference in usage between American and British English.

Dependant is a noun and refers to someone who depends on someone else. For example, “taxpayers can pay less tax for each dependant they have”.

In contrast, dependent is an adjective meaning supported, determined, influenced, or controlled by someone or something. For example, “you should not take too many sleeping pills; you don’t want to become dependent on them”.

In American English, both the noun and the adjective forms – explained above – are spelled dependent. However, in British English, the noun is spelled dependant, and the adjective is spelled dependent.

If you are still not sure whether you have chosen the correct words for your writing, the proofreaders at Proofread My Essay can help. They are skilled in American, Australian, and British English spelling, word choice, grammar, and referencing. In addition to those things, they can also help you format your document. Their rates are great, and you can even get a free sample of their work.

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