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If A is dependant, what does one call B?

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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A is dependent, it depends on B. If these were variables, B would be called an independent variable.

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Can I call B the dependency, or dependee? –  Xiè Jìléi Feb 14 '11 at 6:39
    
Does A is dependent also imply A is dependant? –  Xiè Jìléi Feb 14 '11 at 6:40
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@Ray - the noun form is often spelt with an 'a', so you could say A is a dependant, it/he/she is dependent on B. –  ukayer Feb 14 '11 at 6:56
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@Ray - there's no good word in English for B. Dependee follows normal English conventions, but it's not in common use and you'd be better off using another construct rather than a single word to describe it. –  Ian Henry Feb 14 '11 at 8:01
    
In American English dependent is both adjective, and noun. In British English, dependant is used as noun. –  kiamlaluno Feb 14 '11 at 12:48
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In programming, if A is a dependant of B, then B is a dependancy. This term is also fairly common in project and resource management.

However, in human relationships - if A is a child or spouse that is dependent on B, then A would remain a dependant but B would commonly be called a provider or maybe a supporter.

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1, I'm pretty sure the IRS counts my kids as dependants. –  ukayer Feb 14 '11 at 14:39
    
Perhaps I was not being clear - A (child or spouse) would still be a dependant, but B (the person they depend on) would be a provider. –  HorusKol Feb 14 '11 at 22:36
    
+1 (putting back my -1). I now see your point. –  ukayer Feb 15 '11 at 4:27
    
No worries, even I was confused by my original answer ;) –  HorusKol Feb 15 '11 at 5:43
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