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On Behalf or In Behalf? Which is Correct? (Examples, Grammar)

Is it on behalf or in behalf? English confuses not only its non-native speakers but its beloved native speakers too. Often, people get confused about when to use what phrases and words. This is especially true when two or more words sound similar. 

The difference between the two phrases on behalf and in behalf is slight. Therefore, their intent and purpose can help clarify when to use which phrase. Despite this, a majority of people find themselves using the phrase on behalf instead of in behalf.

Meaning of “On Behalf” and “In Behalf”

The first step in understanding anything is to know its meaning.

To start with, behalf means to speak for or act for someone. The main confusion begins when the word behalf is coupled with on or in.

On behalf of means to act in place of or to act as an agent of somebody. In behalf of means that act benefits somebody or lies in their interest. The intention here is to be helpful to somebody and in this case, somebody gets some assistance.

What is the difference between on behalf and in behalf?

There is a marginal difference between the two terms on behalf and in behalf. However, this marginal difference makes a whole lot of distinction between the two phrases.

On behalf means to act as the agent of somebody, or on the part of someone. Therefore, it means to represent something or somebody. 

On the other hand, in behalf means to act for the benefit or interest of somebody. Therefore, it means to help someone or something. It is likely that someone will benefit from the action of others.

Understanding with Examples

Sometimes concepts, words, and sentences become difficult to understand and this is where examples help things become easier. Examples help us relate to the meaning of words or phrases, helping us to understand them in a more easy and comprehensible way.

The below-mentioned examples will help you understand the meaning of the two phrases on behalf and in behalf.

Examples of on behalf:

  • Raju filed a case on behalf of his injured brother.
  • My heartiest congratulations to all of you on behalf of the ones who are absent tonight.
  • Rajveer will sign the property documents on behalf of his father.
  • I raised the flag on behalf of all the Indians present in the room.
  • I am attending the dance show on behalf of Seema who is not in town.

Examples of in behalf:

  • My company is raising $2000 in behalf of the Ukrainian refugees.
  • The chief minister of the state opened free food stalls in behalf of the homeless people.
  • Katju offers immense help in behalf of the victims of violence in the city.
  • I am working day and night in behalf of my child.
  • Khalid is opening a foundation in behalf of the marginalised.

These examples must have been helpful for you to acknowledge the difference between the two phrases and make clear when to use which phrase.


This article clearly explains the meaning and uses of both on behalf and in behalf. Now you should be able to make the correct choices of using the word behalf.

The only trick here is to understand and think about the intent of using the phrase. Once the intent is clear, you will be able to use the phrase more confidently.


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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