English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Possible Duplicate:
A depends on B, is A dependant, or is B dependant?
“Employee” is to “employer” as “dependent” is to what?

A and B are two persons. When A is a dependent of B, what of A is B?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Aug 6 '12 at 8:53

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.

I suspect you mean dependant, don’t you? That’s the noun. Dependent is an adjective. – tchrist Aug 5 '12 at 22:43
Hi @Tim--I edited out the "Thanks!" at the end of your question because it doesn't add a lot of context. For more information, please see this post. – simchona Aug 5 '12 at 22:45
@Tim They’ve used the wrong word, then. Pity, that. – tchrist Aug 5 '12 at 22:48
@tchrist OED seems to be giving British spelling, as one might expect. IRS is using American spelling, also as one might expect. grammarist.com/spelling/dependant-dependent – MετάEd Aug 6 '12 at 4:26

Perhaps the term provider or the phrase principal provider conveys the relationship.

SUPPLEMENT: I think JLG is right that this is a duplicate (and others have suggested what I propose).

share|improve this answer

Depending on the circumstance, if A is the dependant of B, then B may be the guardian of A. As tchris noted, this would apply for a parent-child relationship, but it does not fit when referring to spouses.

share|improve this answer
With children, perhaps, but with spouses? Doesn’t seem quite right. – tchrist Aug 5 '12 at 23:15
@tchrist - good point. Will qualify my answer. – dj18 Aug 6 '12 at 0:12

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.