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    dependent vs. dependant (as adj.)


    dependent vs. dependant (as adj.)

    Can anybody tell me what is the difference between the two words, from the point of view of usage? Is it possible that "dependant" is more ancient? Is it OK to use "dependant" in the area of computer technology?
    VerfasserJarLos25 Nov. 03, 13:56
    Both are OK; there's no difference in meaning. It appears according to the dictionaries that "dependent" is used more frequently and "dependant", when it is used, is mostly US usage.
    #1VerfasserNancy25 Nov. 03, 14:02
    It's one of the frequently misspelled words according to the list of spellings hints in my calender.
    I was taught that if you want to use _correct_ spelling, only "dependent" is ok for the adjective. :-)
    "dependant" is someone who is dependent on something or someone.

    Here are the entries from Merriam-Webster -- it supports what I was told.

    Main Entry: 1de·pen·dent
    Pronunciation: di-'pen-d&nt
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English dependant, from Middle French, present participle of dependre
    Date: 14th century
    1 : hanging down
    2 a : determined or conditioned by another : CONTINGENT b (1) : relying on another for support (2) : affected with a drug dependence c : subject to another's jurisdiction d : SUBORDINATE 3a
    3 a : not mathematically or statistically independent <a dependent set of vectors> <dependent events> b : EQUIVALENT 6a <dependent equations>
    - de·pen·dent·ly adverb

    Main Entry: 2dependent
    Variant(s): also de·pen·dant /-d&nt/
    Function: noun
    Date: 1523
    1 archaic : DEPENDENCY
    2 : one that is dependent; especially : a person who relies on another for support
    #2VerfasserAntia25 Nov. 03, 17:21
    @Antia: Thanks for reading the dictionary more closely. I'm actually only comfortable with "dependent" and I correct texts which contain the other word - but I didn't want to judge someone who might use the variant with "a", since it's also in the dictionaries.
    #3VerfasserNancy25 Nov. 03, 17:31
    Agree with Nancy. Our schools always mark dependAnt as incorrect (or French). I believe that is the one which is archaic English usage.
    #4VerfasserRES-can26 Nov. 03, 04:16
    Ditto the above.

    On your US tax form, your children might be your dependants (noun) if you support them, but you asked about adjectives, so:

    Dependent - RIGHT
    Dependant - WRONG

    #5VerfasserPeter &lt;us&gt;28 Nov. 03, 06:09
    I am currently involved in translation work here in Germany although I originate from the UK.
    I have read the above and think it is important to distinguish where the word is being used.

    If you are using the word to describe (as a noun) someone or something then you should use "dependant".
    Here is an entry from "thefreedictionary.com"
    Noun 1. dependant - a person who relies on another person for support (especially financial support)
    recipient, receiver - a person who gets something
    charge - a person committed to your care; "the teacher led her charges across the street"
    minion - a servile or fawning dependant
    Adj. 1. dependant - contingent on something else
    dependent, qualified
    conditional - imposing or depending on or containing a condition; "conditional acceptance of the terms"; "lent conditional support"; "the conditional sale will not be complete until the full purchase price is paid"
    2. dependant - addicted to a drug
    drug-addicted, strung-out, hooked, dependent
    addicted - compulsively or physiologically dependent on something habit-forming; "she is addicted to chocolate"; "addicted to cocain"

    de·pen·dent (d-pndnt)
    1. Contingent on another.
    2. Subordinate.
    3. Relying on or requiring the aid of another for support: dependent children.
    4. Hanging down.
    also de·pen·dant One who relies on another especially for financial support.

    I also teach English here so I may have found something here which I could usually use for a part of the lesson. However, I would normally tell my students that if so many native speakers are unsure of the correct usage then they should't worry too much about this issue, their ability to make themselves understood is not dependent upon these two variants.

    #6Verfasserlittle joe26 Feb. 07, 11:16
    canadian immigration uses the word dependant for a child younger than 21 that financially still depends on his parents..in the US dependent is the way to spell it, so i figure the only difference is BE(CE) and AE spelling.
    #7Verfassercoburn26 Feb. 07, 12:25
    As already noted by a couple of posters, the two are NOT the same.

    Dependent is, I think, understood. Dependant is a PERSON, who relies on support from another. Eg: A man's wife and children are often described as dependants.
    #8VerfasserAd26 Feb. 07, 13:16
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