The two variants of English language, British English and American English, often create confusion among writers. Most of the times, writers come across such words that have two different spellings, i.e. one is preferred in American while the other one is preferred spelling in British English. Today, I am coming up with two such words that are two different spellings of the same word. The case is dependant vs. dependent.
Let us find out where you should use these words and in what situations you should avoid dependant or dependent.
Dependant vs. Dependent – What is the Difference, Definition & Meaning?
Is it dependant or dependent?
As I said above that dependant and dependent are the two different spellings of a same word. However, you have to be careful of the situations because preferences are attached to these words. Before telling you which variant prefers which spelling, let me first define this particular term.
Definition of Dependant/Dependent
Dependent or Dependant is used as a noun or an adjective within a sentence. As a noun, it is used to refer to a person who depends or relies on someone else, especially for a financial support.
1. This job is eligible for such persons who have no dependents/dependants.
2. The government is helping females with at least three children as dependents/dependants.
As an adjective, dependent means depending or relying on someone or something for support.
1. My admission is dependent on my upcoming result.
2. Success is dependent on effort. (Sophocles)
Why Two Different Spellings?
In the above discussion, you have read the definition of dependant or dependent. Let me tell you that dependant is the older term than dependent.
Dependent is the preferred spelling in American English. In fact, Americans do not use the spelling ‘dependant’. So, it is easier for Americans to go with only one spelling ‘dependent’ as a noun or as an adjective. So, be careful with it; do not use dependant for American audiences.
However, it is the British English in which dependant was used as a noun whereas; dependent has been used as an adjective. According to a research, I have now come to know that this distinction has been declined because, now, most of the British publications are using dependent as a noun as well as an adjective.
It is concluded that dependant and dependent are the two different spellings of a same word. As a noun, it is used to refer to a person who relies on someone else for a support. As an adjective, it means relying on someone or something for support.
It has been noticed that dependant is the older term than dependent which was preferably used as a noun in British English. However, the spelling dependent has been the preferred spelling in American English and has always been used as an adjective in British English.