“Based On” Vs. “Based off Of” – Difference Explained

Marcus Froland

Are you confused about the difference between ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’? Do you want to learn more about when to use each phrase?

Whether you’re a student or a professional, this article will help. We’ll explain the differences between these two phrases and provide 12 examples so that you can understand how and when to use each one correctly.

You’ll also get tips on avoiding common mistakes when using them.

Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • ‘Based on’ is used when something is used as a starting point or foundation for creating something else, while ‘based off of’ is used when something is adapted or modified from an existing item or model.
  • ‘Based on’ implies creating something original, while ‘based off of’ implies adapting something that already exists.
  • ‘Based on’ is always followed by a noun or a gerund, while ‘based off of’ can also be followed by a noun or gerund.
  • It is important to use these phrases correctly and avoid common mistakes, such as using ‘based off of’ instead of ‘based on’ or using a preposition between ‘based’ and ‘on’.

Definition of ‘Based On’ and ‘Based Off Of’

You may be wondering what the difference is between ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’.

Generally, ‘based on’ means to take something as a starting point from which to create something else. It can refer to an idea, information, or other source material used as a foundation for creating a new product.

On the other hand, ‘based off of’ usually indicates that something has been adapted from an existing item or model. This could involve taking a specific example and making changes so it is more suitable for another purpose.

In short, ‘based on’ implies creating something original while ‘based off of’ implies adapting something that already exists.

Examples of ‘Based On’ and ‘Based Off Of’

You’re probably wondering what the difference is between ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’. Well, when you use the phrase ‘based on’, it means that something is supported by facts or used as a reference. When you use the phrase ‘based off of’, it usually implies that something was copied and modified from an original source.

To help explain this further, let’s take a look at some examples.

For instance, if you wanted to write a paper based on your research, then you would say ‘The paper is based on my research.’ This means that your paper relies upon the conclusions or evidence gathered from your research.

On the other hand, if you wanted to create a replica of an existing object, then you would say ‘The replica was based off of the original.’ This means that your replica was created by copying and modifying elements from its original source.

Grammar Rules for ‘Based On’ and ‘Based Off Of’

When using ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’, it’s important to know the grammar rules associated with each phrase.

First, ‘based on’ is always followed by a noun or a gerund. It should never be used to describe something that has been copied verbatim; instead, if this is the case you should use the phrase ‘copied from’.

Secondly, ‘based off of’ can also be followed by a noun or gerund, but it can additionally be used to describe an action that has been directly copied.

Lastly, both phrases are usually preceded by words like ‘is’ or ‘are’. As such, you should avoid using them at the beginning of a sentence.

To ensure accuracy and clarity in your writing, use these guidelines when employing either phrase.

Common Mistakes With ‘Based On’ and ‘Based off of’

It’s easy to mix up ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’, so make sure you pay attention when using them in your writing.

One common mistake is using ‘based off of’ instead of the correct phrase, ‘based on’. Another mistake is putting a preposition between ‘based’ and ‘on’. For example, saying ‘The decision was based around on the data’ instead of ‘The decision was based on the data’.

Additionally, people sometimes use the wrong form in questions: ‘Do you base it off of this?’ should be written as ‘Do you base it on this?’ Furthermore, some mistakenly use a double preposition: ‘He based his opinion from off what I said’ should read as ‘He based his opinion on what I said’.

Finally, remember that both phrases take an object after them; for instance, saying ‘She based her idea from other sources’ is incorrect and should be written as ‘She based her idea on other sources’.

Paying close attention to these rules will help ensure your writing is accurate and understandable.

Tips for Using ‘Based On’ and ‘Based Off Of’ Correctly

To ensure accuracy, pay attention to the rules for using ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’. When writing, it’s important that you use them properly.

The first step is to make sure you understand the difference between ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’: ‘Based on’ means ‘on the basis of’ or ‘in accordance with’, whereas ‘based off of’ means ‘derived from’.

To use them correctly in writing, remember that only ‘based on’ should be used; never use ‘based off of’. Additionally, when referring to a source as your basis for an argument or opinion, always include a citation after using the phrase ‘based on’. This will help readers understand where your ideas are coming from.

Finally, try to avoid overusing these phrases – if you find yourself starting too many sentences with ‘Based on…’, consider rephrasing so it doesn’t sound repetitive.


You should now understand the difference between ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’, as well as when to use them. By following the grammar rules, examples, and common mistakes mentioned in this article, you can easily remember how to correctly use these phrases.

With a few simple tips and practice, you’ll be able to confidently use ‘based on’ and ‘based off of’ in your own writing. So don’t worry – now that you know the difference between these two phrases, you’ll never mix them up again!