- 1 to rely on somebody/something and be able to trust them He was the sort of person you could depend on. depend on/upon somebody/something to do something He knew he could depend upon her to deal with the situation. Synonymstrustdepend on somebody/something rely on somebody/something count on somebody/something believe in somebodyThese words all mean to believe that somebody/something will do what you hope or expect of them or that what they tell you is correct or true.trust to believe that somebody is good, honest, sincere, etc. and that they will do what you expect of them or do the right thing; to believe that something is true or correct:You can trust me not to tell anyone. Don’t trust what you read in the newspapers!depend on/upon somebody/something (often used with can/cannot/could/could not) to trust somebody/something to do what you expect or want, to do the right thing, or to be true or correct:He was the sort of person you could depend on. Can you depend on her version of what happened?rely on/upon somebody/something (used especially with can/cannot/could/could not and should/should not) to trust somebody/something to do what you expect or want, or to be honest, correct or good enough:Can I rely on you to keep this secret? You can’t rely on any figures you get from them.trust, depend or rely on/upon somebody/something?You can trust a person but not a thing or system. You can trust somebody’s judgement or advice, but not their support. You can depend on somebody’s support, but not their judgement or advice. Rely on/upon somebody/something is used especially with you can/could or you should to give advice or a promise:I don’t really rely on his judgement. You can’t really rely on his judgement.count on somebody/something (often used with can/cannot/could/could not) to be sure that somebody will do what you need them to do, or that something will happen as you want it to happen:I’m counting on you to help me. We can’t count on the good weather lasting.believe in somebody to feel that you can trust somebody and/or that they will be successful:They need a leader they can believe in.Patterns to trust/depend on/rely on/count on somebody/something to do something to trust/believe in somebody/something to trust/rely on somebody’s advice/judgement to depend on/rely on/count on somebody’s support to completely trust/depend on/rely on/believe in somebody/something
- 2 to be sure or expect that something will happen synonym count on somebody/something Depend upon it (= you can be sure) we won't give up. depend on/upon somebody/something doing something Can we depend on you coming in on Sunday? (formal) You can depend on his coming in on Sunday. depend on/upon somebody/something to do something (ironic) You can depend on her to be (= she always is) late.
(not usually used in the progressive tenses) to need money, help, etc. from somebody/something else for a particular purpose The community depends on the shipping industry for its survival. I don't want to depend too much on my parents.
(not used in the progressive tenses) to be affected or decided by something Does the quality of teaching depend on class size? It would depend on the circumstances. depend on/upon how, what, etc… Whether we need more food depends on how many people turn up. Grammar Pointdepend on In informal English, it is quite common to say depend rather than depend on before words like what, how or whether:It depends what you mean by ‘hostile’. In formal written English, depend should always be followed by on or upon:It depends on how you define the term ‘hostile’. Upon is more formal and less frequent than on.