I wonder what do you call two things that are related to one another in such a close way that each one "needs" the others in order to exist and none of them can last without the other one? I know just two adjectives and their associated verbs. Whilst dictionaries couldn't help me much, I wonder which choice doesn't work in this sense:

1- They are interdependent.
2- They interdepend.
3- They are correlative.
4- They correlate.

I would appreciate it if you could let me know about even a bettrthere option if exists.

  • 1
    IMO, for interdependence, X needs Y, and Y needs X. They depend on each other. While for correlative, X affects aspects of Y and Y affects aspects of X. Let's wait for other answers/comments.
    – shin
    Jul 4, 2019 at 10:10
  • I do agree with you @shin. I think so. +1
    – A-friend
    Jul 4, 2019 at 10:54
  • @shin No: correlative merely means that the two things appear to happen together, hence the common phrase "correlation not causation" which is used to remind people that two things that correlate may be completely unconnected.
    – MikeB
    Jul 4, 2019 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


If either of the 'two things' truly need each other, then correlation is not the right word to use - two completely unrelated, co-incidentaly variables may correlate completely, see this example if it helps.

Interdependence/Interdependant is probably the best choice here, but you may also want to look at symbiosis (mainly for organisms) or collaboration (mainly for humans)

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