Writing for Business

Mar 16 2017   4:15PM GMT

Based off or based on – Which is correct?

Kaitlin Herbert Kaitlin Herbert Profile: Kaitlin Herbert


criticalthinkingCritical thinking asks if a conclusion is ______ evidence or gut feelings.

A. based on
B. based off


Answer: A

Based off (sometimes seen as based off of) is increasingly common and frequently heard in conversation. However, the term is incorrect and based on is the correct word choice.

The Chronicle of High Education explains how the term based off has seen a dramatic rise since the 1980s and seems to mostly be used in speech rather than writing for now.

7  Comments on this Post

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  • Brisc2017
    I think the trend may have some correlation to the rise in the constructionist perspective. Increasingly knowledge is being appreciated in its more relative and less absolute forms, with attending reduced emphasis of substance and increased emphasis of contrasts.
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Kaitlin Herbert
    Really interesting perspective! Thanks for sharing!
    2,870 pointsBadges:
  • pdgupta
    Based on and based off should not be construed having the same meaning under any circumstances. Proper use of appropriate preposition and traditional English grammar would be useless for accepting this kind of vocabulary in English language. However, using the words based off in legal documents would serve dual purposes at the same time. Thus, if it says in any legal document that payments will be made based off plaintiff's claim it will have two possible implications. Either the payment will be made as per claim or it will be rejected by the other side due the fact that OFF means off and, therefore, it will force the plaintiff to sit with the other side for negotiation. Thus, use of the words based off is a trick and only fools would assume it as the same as based on.
    10 pointsBadges:
  • dananicolay
    Either it has a base or it doesn't. 'Based off of' suggests that the assertion is off-base, so it has no base. 'Based on' states the relationship between the assertion and the presuppositions that support it.
    10 pointsBadges:
  • CaveBear
    That's the _Chronicle of Higher Education_...
    10 pointsBadges:
  • CarolNikkie
    I will never accept this term.
    It just smacks of ignorance!
    10 pointsBadges:
  • WRSmith1974
    The phrase "based off" is meaningless.  

    The underlying goal is to convey that an idea is supported by something -- that the idea has a foundation.  

    I do not build a house "off" a foundation.  

    I build a house "on" a foundation.

    The same logic applies to ideas.

    10 pointsBadges:

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