Language tip of the week: independent

Posted by on August 30, 2012

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are based on areas of English (e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc) which learners often find difficult. Here is some advice about the prepositions that can follow the adjective independent:

The usual preposition to use with independent is of, not from:

✗ Credit cards make students feel independent from their parents.
✓ Credit cards make students feel independent of their parents.
✗ But I believe women have the right to be independent from men.
✓ But I believe women have the right to be independent of men.

The pattern independent from is used only when we are talking about a country that is no longer governed by another country:

Brunei became fully independent from the United Kingdom in 1984.

Note that the correct spelling is independent (not ‘independant’ or ‘indipendent’):

Many TV companies commission all their programmes from independent producers.

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