The phrase “on behalf of” comes up quite often in English. It will help you to understand what it means and how to use it yourself if you read through the following article. Don’t get confused with incorrect forms, and focus only on “on behalf of” as the right one.
Is It “On Behalf Of” Or “On The Behalf Of”?
“On behalf of” is the correct form to use. We use it when we’re doing something for the benefit of somebody else. “On the behalf of” is a common misconception of the phrase, but it should never be used. We would say, “I’m here on behalf of my company.”
It’s important to never use “the” in this phrase. While it isn’t strictly incorrect (if we speak purely with grammatical laws), that doesn’t mean it’s right to do so. “The” takes away from the phrase when we’re trying to show that we’re doing something for the benefit of somebody else.
How Prevalent Is The Use Of “On The Behalf Of”?
We can show you just how unlikely it is that you’ll ever come across “on the behalf of.” While it isn’t strictly incorrect, few native speakers ever use it, so it’s important not to do so yourself.
According to Google, “On the behalf of” is mentioned 427 times on The New York Times website, while “On behalf of” is mentioned 88,800 times.
We can also show you this graph, which is much more apparent in the differences between them. “On behalf of” is very common (even though it might have lost some popularity in recent years). However, at no point does “on the behalf of” ever make it off the bottom line.
The graph is the most obvious way to see how little “on the behalf of” gets used.
What Does “On Behalf Of” Mean?
“On behalf of” means that we’re doing something or saying something for the benefit of somebody else. Usually, we’ll be representing or supporting that thing or person in some way.
The definition of “on behalf of,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “done for another person’s benefit or support, or because you are representing the interests of that person.”
It’s common to hear someone say “on behalf of” when they’re representing another person or company. For example:
- I’m here on behalf of my company.
- I’ll collect this award on behalf of my father.
As you can see, if there is some reason why the other party can’t make it, we might do the thing “on behalf of” them to make their lives easier. It’s still fairly common practice to do today.
Examples Of How To Use “On Behalf Of” In A Sentence
It would help to see how “on behalf of” is used in more sentences. Remember, “on the behalf of” is never right, so we won’t include any examples using that.
- I’m here on behalf of my family to tell you to cease and desist.
- On behalf of everyone you’ve hurt, it’s nice to see justice finally prevail.
- I speak on behalf of the voiceless, and I won’t rest until equality is met.
- I’ll collect this on behalf of my brother, who really wished he could be here today.
- We’re here on behalf of our company. We’ll make a formal statement, and that will be that.
- On behalf of the prime minister, I believe it’s time you let him have some privacy.
- On behalf of your mother, I’ve been informed that you need to return home immediately.
“On behalf of” is used when we’re speaking for somebody or something else. Even if the words we use have already been scripted for us, we can say them “on behalf of” somebody if that other person doesn’t want to say it themselves.
On Behalf Of – Synonyms
Let’s go through some synonyms and alternatives that might help you understand the meaning slightly better.
- As a representative of
- As a spokesperson for
- In the name of
- In place of
- On the authority of
- At the behest of
- Appearing for
- Speaking for
- In the interests of
These synonyms are great alternatives to “on behalf of.” You can choose which one works best, though most of them are more long-winded and clunky than simply saying “on behalf of.”
Is It “On Behalf Of” Or “In Behalf Of”?
According to this graph, “on behalf of” is by far the most popular choice. “In behalf of” is almost never used, and you should avoid using it yourself because it will only confuse most native speakers.
“In behalf of” is a more old-fashioned saying. You’ll notice on the graph that it was more popular than “on behalf of” in the early 1800s. However, today, we barely use it.
It’s similar to saying “in the representation of,” which is a synonym for “on behalf of,” and might explain why people once used it.
Is It Correct To Say “On Behalf Of My Family And I”?
“On behalf of my family and I” is incorrect because we can’t speak “on behalf of” ourselves (in this case, saying “I”). “On behalf of my family” is correct, but including the pronoun “I” makes it false.
There are no situations where you’ll ever need to say the following:
- On behalf of I
- On behalf of me
Since you’ll already be talking or writing, you don’t have to say “on behalf of” yourself because people already know who is addressing them.
Does “On Behalf Of Myself” Make Sense?
“On behalf of myself” does not make sense. You should not use the phrase because it’s obvious that you’re talking when you’re speaking. People don’t need you to establish that you’re speaking “On behalf of” yourself.
What Is Short For “On Behalf Of”?
“OBO” is the acronym and short-form of “on behalf of.” It’s common to see “OBO” written in important documents that have to be written quickly. You might see it as an acronym, in which case it’ll mean someone is writing on behalf of a larger entity.
- I’m writing OBO my company.
- He’s writing obo. his company.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.