Language tip of the week: dependentPosted by Kati Sule on December 06, 2011
In this weekly microblog, we bring to English language learners more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc) which learners often find difficult.
This week’s language tip helps with the word dependent.
The usual preposition to use with dependent is on, not of:
✗ Women in those times were totally
dependent oftheir husbands.
✓ Women in those times were totally dependent on their husbands.
✗ The organization of a society is largely
dependent ofits economic system.
✓ The organization of a society is largely dependent on its economic system.
You can also use the preposition upon, but this is much less frequent than on, and it sounds very formal.
Don’t confuse dependent (an adjective) and dependant (a noun).
✗ society’s stereotypes of women as weak, passive and
✓ society’s stereotypes of women as weak, passive and dependent individuals
A dependant is someone, such as a child or older person, who depends on their relatives for care, food etc:
special allowances for women who have to give up work to look after elderly dependants
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