If A is dependant, what does one call B?


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

  • 2
    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
  • 3
    @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
  • 1
    @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

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.

  • 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
  • This is the more correct answer of the two. – kumarharsh Jan 10 '15 at 12:09

In project management (and lots of engineering), B is the prerequisite for A, in that it must come first. B does not necessarily know or care about A.

  • 1
    1 for extending the scope of OP to engineering (and programming). – Fr0zenFyr Aug 19 '15 at 7:34
  • 2
    For Assignments and Tasks (when establishing a relationship to a Dependency) it makes sense for the other side of that relationship to be referred to as the Prerequisite (from the Dependency's point of view). Thank you, there are so many posts about this, and your answer is the only one that fits perfectly for me. – MikeTeeVee Jun 2 '16 at 11:36

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