Angela’s ABCs: Dependent and Dependant by Angela Caldin

One letter makes all the difference There is often confusion over the words dependent and dependant. Dependant is a noun: A dependant is a person, often a child or a partner, who is supported by someone else; a person who relies on another, especially a family member, for financial support. Examples: All Palace staff and their dependants must be ready to leave when the revolution comes.  He has eight dependants of varying ages from his three marriages. Dependent is an adjective: Dependent means contingent on, relying on, supported by, addicted to, and… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – Words Easily Confused: to bear and to bare

Usually, we don’t have trouble with bear (the noun) which means the large furry animal, or bare (the adjective) which means naked or not covered or sometimes basic, as in the bare necessities of life. But the verbs to bear and to bare cause more problems, though it can be quite dangerous and risky to get them wrong, as you’ll see in the footnote below. To bare means to uncover (a part of the body or other thing) and expose it to view: He bared his chest to show off his six… Read More

Angela’s ABCs – Principal or Principle?

Words easily confused: principal and principle. I made a mistake with these two the other day, as my husband gleefully pointed out, telling me that: Principal  is an adjective meaning ‘most important’ or ‘main’, or a noun designating ‘the main or chief one’. So, the main sum of money on which interest is calculated is called the principal, and the chief person or head teacher in a school is the principal. Principle  can never be an adjective. It is a noun only, referring to a fundamental law or concept, or to a code of conduct, often used in the… Read More