This word confusion, well, phrase confusion, really, cropped up in a listserv to which I belong, and I thought I would explore it. And it continues to amaze me how particular English can be…or should I say, how particular grammarians are, lol.
Based on and on the basis of say the same thing. What makes the difference is that the former modifies nouns or pronouns while the latter is strictly for the verbs.
|Phrases starting with…|
|…based on modifies a noun or pronoun||…on the basis of modifies a verb|
|Based on extensive study, this genetic deficiency was attributed to the loss of one isozyme.||On the basis of extensive study, this genetic deficiency was attributed to the loss of one isozyme.|
|Based on Jamieson’s theory on osteoarthritis knee pain, new methods evolved.||On the basis of Jamieson’s theory, new methods evolved in the treatment of osteoarthritis knee pain.|
|Based on the molecular orbital calculations, a mechanism was proposed that can account for all the major features of alkali and alkaline earth catalyzed gasification reactions.||On the basis of the molecular orbital calculations, we propose a mechanism that can account for all the major features of alkali and alkaline earth catalyzed gasification reactions.|
|The administration sent a document based on your suggestion.
Describes the nearest noun and indicates that you had something to do with the document’s content.
|The administration sent a document on the basis of your suggestion.
Describes the verb, sent, and indicates that the idea of sending the document (rather than perhaps taking it in person) was yours.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Based On||On The Basis Of|
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; MacMillan Dictionary: based on; Merriam-Webster: basis; Dictionary.com: based; AGU Grammar and Style Guide; ACS Guide, p. 111|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Participial phrase (Past Tense Verb + Preposition)
Verbal phrase, intransitive & transitive
Present tense verb: base
|Modifies nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns, but not verbs
based may also be followed by upon
To use particular ideas or facts to make a decision, do a calculation, or develop a theory
To have or maintain a base
To establish, as a fact or conclusion
To place or establish on a base or basis
To station, place, or situate
|Starts a sentence and modifies verbs
A basic fact, amount, standard, etc., used in making computations, reaching conclusions, or the like
Fluctuating prices are usually based on a fickle public’s demand.
I believe they had been based on Greenland at one time.
The movie is based on a true story.
Your entitlement will be based on income.
Beaches is a film based on a novel by Pat Conroy.
Prices are based on two people sharing a room.
Green politics are based on the belief that the resources of the planet are finite.
Our plan is based on a rising economy.
The prosecution’s case is based largely on evidence from ex-members of the gang.
The squadron is based on a carrier.
|The company does not hire employees on the basis of their race, sex, age, or religion.
I suggest that we meet on a regular basis to discuss progress.
The nurse is paid on an hourly basis.
He was chosen on the basis of his college grades.
|on a daily basis
on a weekly basis
on a day-to-day basis
on a first-come, first-served basis
on a friendly basis
on a nightly basis
on a regular basis
on a rotating basis
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!