“Dependent On” Or “Dependent Upon” – Correct Version Explained

When it comes to using the correct preposition with “dependent,” you might be at a loss between “on” and “upon.” We will show you which is the preferred version in this article and all the relevant rules that apply to make it that way.

Is It “Dependent On” Or “Dependent Upon”?

“Dependent on” and “dependent upon” are both correct. They are also synonymous, as “on” and “upon” are identical in prepositional meaning. However, “dependent on” is more common in modern English because “upon” is an old-fashioned preposition that sees less usage today.

dependent on or upon

When something is determined or dependable on another variable, we use “dependent on” or “upon” to demonstrate it:

  • The child is dependent on his mother.
  • This man is dependent upon his wife.

As you can see, “on” and “upon” work in both cases, and we can use whichever one works best for us. Generally, “upon” is the more formal option, while “on” is the more general one that applies to both formal and informal cases.

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What Does “Dependent On” And “Dependent Upon” Mean?

Now let’s go over the meaning of the two phrases. Since they’re synonymous, we don’t need to explain them individually.

“Dependent on” and “upon” mean that another thing determines an original thing. Usually, the first thing cannot do anything or change without the input from another thing, which is usually specified in the given context.

A child is often “dependent on” their parents since they wouldn’t be able to live without them. We could also say that types of data are “dependent on” other types, so long as the other types have an impact on the meaning of the data.

Dependency is common in many areas, and a preposition is almost always required with it.

Examples Of How To Use “Dependent On” In A Sentence

You may also benefit from learning about the usage of the two through examples. We’ll start by showing you how to use “dependent on,” which is the more common variation in modern English.

  1. You are dependent on the love and admiration of others, which will be your downfall.
  2. I don’t mean to depend on you as much as I do, but I can’t find a way to live without you.
  3. I’m sorry he chose to depend on you. Clearly, you weren’t able to help him out.
  4. Depending on them to help me was a mistake and one that I will not make again.
  5. You should be dependent on the people closest to you because they’ll always be happy to lend a hand.
  6. She was dependent on my love and attention, which turned into a toxic relationship.
  7. Stop being so dependent on those around you and start thinking for yourself!

“Dependent on” works well when a person or thing requires the support of another thing to function correctly. Usually, “dependent” things are incapable of surviving or progressing on their own.

Examples Of How To Use “Dependent Upon” In A Sentence

“Dependent upon” is identical to “dependent on.” Remember, the only key differences in usage come from modernization and formality.

  1. He was dependent upon the support you offered him, and it is obvious that you have stopped helping him now.
  2. This data is very much dependent upon the rest of the framework.
  3. The project you’ve created is dependent upon the hard work of others, and you need to get them more involved.
  4. I don’t want to sound like I depend upon you, but I need you to help me.
  5. Without depending upon this company too much, I certainly need some help paying my bills this month.
  6. You should be more dependent upon your parents, to show them that you still need them.
  7. I can’t find any evidence that this is dependent upon the same things.

“Dependent upon” also works to talk about people or things that need others to support or lift them up. Some things that are “dependent” will not work without assistance, and we need to ensure that they can rely on the assistance to get this done.

How Prevalent Is The Use Of “Depend On” And “Depend Upon”?

It would also help to explore which is the more prominent choice in English. We have the statistics to help explain the answer to this.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “dependent on” is the most popular choice in English. While both prepositions are used, “on” sees much more common usage in modern times.

dependent on vs dependent upon

You might notice that there was a brief window in the early to mid-1900s, where “dependent upon” was the more popular choice. This goes to show that “upon” is a slightly more old-fashioned preposition.

Is “Dependent Upon” More Formal Than “Dependent On”?

“Dependent upon” is more formal than “dependent on.” Both prepositions mean the same thing, but “upon” is more old-fashioned, which makes it a more suitable choice for most formal situations. It’s best in written form.

Is It Ever Correct To Use “Dependent Of”?

“Dependent of” is correct when you’re showing that someone or something is “dependent of” a particular branch or body. Usually, we refer to an organization in some way when using “dependent of.”

It’s not a common preposition to use with “dependent,” as “on” and “upon” also work in all cases where “of” does. However, it looks like this:

  • The states are dependents of the government.

Is It Ever Correct To Use “Dependant”?

“Dependant” is correct to refer to a person that relies on the support of another. However, it is a British English spelling of the identical American English word “dependent.” Both words are correct; it only depends on your language choice.

  • American English: He is a dependent.
  • British English: You are a dependant.

“Dependent On” And “Dependent Upon” – Synonyms

Finally, let’s go over some suitable synonyms you might be able to use. If you’re not too comfortable with the preposition choices with “dependent,” or you just fancy a different word, these are all great options:

  • Conditional on
  • Contingent on
  • Relying on
  • Determined by
  • Subject to
  • Resting on
  • Hanging on
  • Influenced by
  • Resultant from

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