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Which phrase is correct: “dependent on” or “dependent upon”

Is there a difference between the usage of 'depend upon' and 'depend on' or is one considered improper usage?

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marked as duplicate by Robusto, Kit Z. Fox, Dusty, Marthaª, Daniel Jul 14 '11 at 16:05

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 3 down vote accepted


The preposition upon has the same core meaning as the preposition on. Upon is sometimes more formal than on, however, and is preferred in the phrases : once upon a time and : upon my word, and in uses such as : row upon row of seats and : Christmas is almost upon us.

There is no other difference than that.

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Grammatically there is no difference.

Style and usage? It is one of the "nicer" selections to have to make, as you can choose based on:

a: It is better to your ear,(1)


b: It is better targeted at your readership,


c: A combination of a and b.

(1) Italian has a word ("orecchiabile") for which the closest English translation is "palatable to the ear". Given that English is, shall we say, an "illegitimate" language, whose parentage is not strictly defined, I think that we should either steal the word (to add to the list of other words we've stolen), or create one that means the same thing.

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