Words ending in -ant and -ent

These endings are used to form nouns (such as deodorant or adolescent) or adjectives (such as arrogant and convenient). Similar rules apply to these words as to words ending in -ance and -ence, or -ancy and -ency.

Here are some common nouns and adjectives ending in -ant:

abundant; contestant; defiant; ignorant; relevant; radiant; assistant; consultant; fragrant; pleasant; hesitant; observant; important; distant; attendant; instant; dominant; redundant; brilliant; elegant; tolerant; expectant; significant; reluctant; vigilant; applicant.

These are some common words ending in -ent:

different; present; innocent; prominent; efficient; eloquent; insolent; recent; lenient; prudent; intelligent; eminent; resident; evident; confident; silent; consistent; sufficient; continent; patient; imminent; competent; recurrent; transient; permanent; persistent; incident.

Words to watch

A few words can end in both -ant or -ent. Their spelling depends on their part of speech. Two common examples are:

Noun Adjective
propellant               propellent
pendant pendant or pendent   

Note that in American English, dependent is always spelled with -ent at the end, whether it is being used as an adjective or a noun. However, in British English, the noun may be spelled either dependent or dependant.

However, independent is always spelled with -ent at the end, whether it is being used as an adjective or a noun.


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Grammar and usage