Quick answer
"Depender de" is an intransitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to depend on", and "contar con" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to count on". Learn more about the difference between "depender de" and "contar con" below.
depender de(
An intransitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and does not require a direct object (e.g. Everybody please stand up.).
intransitive verb phrase
1. (to be subject to)
a. to depend on
El levantamiento del bloqueo depende del resultado de la reunión entre los líderes.The lifting of the blockade depends on the outcome of the meeting between the leaders.
b. to be up to
Puedes irte si quieres; depende de ti.You can go if you want to; it's up to you.
2. (to need)
a. to depend on
La pareja dependía de la ayuda económica de sus familiares.The couple depended on the financial support of their families.
b. to be dependent on
Mucha gente mayor depende de sus hijos.Many elderly people are dependent on their children.
c. to rely on
Los Chicago Cubs dependían de su bateador para ganar la liga.The Chicago Cubs relied on their hitter to win the league.
3. (to be subordinate to)
a. to be accountable to
Nuestro departamento dependía del gobierno regional.Our department was accountable to the regional government.
b. to be answerable to
La sucursal del banco dejó de depender de la oficina central.This branch of the bank is no longer answerable to the central office.
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contar con(
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to depend on)
a. to count on
Siempre puedo contar con mis mejores amigos cuando necesito ayuda.I can always count on my best friends when I need help.
b. to rely on
MacGyver siempre puede contar con su ingenio para resolver cualquier problema.MacGyver can always rely on his resourcefulness to solve any problem.
2. (to foresee)
a. to anticipate
Salimos tarde sin contar con que hubiera un accidente por la calle.We left late without anticipating that there might an accident on the road.
b. to expect
Cuando planeamos el picnic, no contamos con que lloviera.When we planned the picnic, we didn't expect it to rain.
3. (to possess)
a. to have
Nuestro nuevo apartamento cuenta con tres dormitorios, dos baños y una piscina.Our new apartment has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a swimming pool.
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