'Dependent' or 'Dependant'? What Is the Difference? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 17 December 2023)

dependent vs dependant

The Difference between Dependent and Dependant

In British English, there is a distinction between the words dependent and dependant.

Dependent is an adjective. If you are dependent on someone or something, you rely on them:

✅ Many young people remain dependent on their parents while at university.

✅ It is widely believed that a career path in Calgary is dependent on oil and gas.

Dependant is a noun. Your dependants are the people who depend on you for financial support, such as your children or family members who do not work:

✅ Mr Anderson has a large income and no dependants.

Examples from the Media

Many of these 'adult-dependants' are still financially dependent on their parents well into their forties, a Peter Pan-like generation who will not or cannot become financially self-sufficient. The Guardian (2011)

Under the government's plans, all British Overseas Nationals and their dependants will be given right to remain in the UK, including the right to work and study, for five years. —BBC (2020)

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