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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?

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I suspect you mean dependant, don’t you? That’s the noun. Dependent is an adjective. –  tchrist Aug 5 '12 at 22:43
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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
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@Tim They’ve used the wrong word, then. Pity, that. –  tchrist Aug 5 '12 at 22:48
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@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
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marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Aug 6 '12 at 8:53

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2 Answers

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.

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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
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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).

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