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I'm facing a problem with the bold part. How to convert any sentence with "based on" to the following format "base...on"?

For example:

  • College students should choose a field of study based on the availability of jobs in that field.

College students should base their choice of a field of study on the availability of jobs in that field.

Some examples which I want to convert:

  • The formal challenge to Lewontin and Huxley must be based on mathematical argument but the general biological points are as follows.
  • Prices are based on the market value of fresh ingredients each day.
  • The productivity of an economy based on agriculture and household industry had inherent limits.
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  • Yeah, I think that when a choice or decision is involved, both phrasings are possible: i.e. the choice is based on a factor, or someone bases a choice on the factor. But when no choice/decision is involved, and you're just saying that X is based on Y, meaning Y somehow affects X, I don't think a rephrasing exists.
    – cruthers
    Aug 1, 2022 at 2:19
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    Each of the last three sentences contains a passive construction without an explicit agent ("by [agent]"). If you knew the agent, then that would become the subject in the active form. Your first example only works because "based on . . ." functions adverbially, so it's not really a passive construction, so the agent ("college students") doesn't change. Aug 7, 2022 at 17:16

2 Answers 2

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I don't think what you want to do is possible.

The construction "based on" has a passive participle "based". The (implied) subject of the participle is the grammical object of an active verb.

So in the example you have "a field of study based on the availability of jobs". So the grammatical object of the verb "base" would naively be "a field of study". Now in this case there is also an implied subject for the verb "base", since you have mentioned the students choosing something. So it is implied that the students will base a field of study on... . That means that we can rephrase the sentence, simply applying those transformations would result in gibberish, but it just happens that we can use the noun "choice" in place of the verb "choose" and rephrase.

It is grammatical luck that the verb "choose" has a nicely related noun "choice", and that the sentence has an implied subject for the verb "base".

In the other examples you are not so lucky. Who is basing the challenge to Lewontin and Huxley? The sentence doesn't say. So you can't use an active verb "base": you don't know the identity of the subject.

A similar argument applies to the other examples: If we wanted to use "base ... on" we would need to specify a subject who bases prices on market value. But I suspect that no such person actually exists. Instead there is some market mechanism. But you can't turn passive participles into active verbs unless you know the identity of the subject.

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@James K may be correct in an extremely strict sense that what you are asking for is impossible. However, I'm guessing that someone set you those examples and is expecting you to find an answer. With a little flexibility it is possible to reword the sentences in a way that uses the construction you want. In effect they depend on the use of the indefinite pronoun 'one' in the first two cases, and switching to the infinitive form of the verb phrase ('to base X on') in the latter. That seems like a reasonable approach that satisfies your objective.

One must base the formal challenge of Lewontin and Huxley on mathmatical argument, but the general biological points are as follows.

One bases prices on the market value of fresh ingredients each day.

To base the productivity of an economy on agriculture and household industry had inherent limits.

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