The words dependence, dependents sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. Why do dependence, dependents sound the same even though they are completely different words?
The answer is simple: dependence, dependents are homophones of the English language.
The state of being dependent, as for support.
Subordination to someone or something needed or greatly desired.
Trust; reliance. See Synonyms at trust.
The state of being determined, influenced, or controlled by something else.
Plural form of dependent.
Definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License and Wordnik.
Homophones (literally "same sound") are usually defined as words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of how they are spelled.
If they are spelled the same then they are also homographs (and homonyms); if they are spelled differently then they are also heterographs (literally "different writing").