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Are 'on the basis' and 'based on' exchangeable? For example, can I speak this sentence

His article was written on the basis of earlier accounts of reference frames.

as the same as another

His article was written based on earlier accounts of reference frames.

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A basis is reasons or justifications for making a logical argument.
On the basis of is used to reference those reasons.

On the basis of the General Theory of Relativity, gravity ripples were discovered.

Based on is used to refer to an account, description, or experience of something

The movie was based on a true story.

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  • Is "based on the basis of" acceptable as well in a sentence? E.g. "Sadly, he was expelled from the school based on the basis of rumors circulated about him." Jan 9 '20 at 18:11
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There's no difference in meaning: "based on" and "on the basis of" are interchangeable. However, the use of "on the basis of" sounds better in the sentence.

You can also say:

Based on earlier accounts' reference frames, his article was written.

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    I don't think that comma should be there, but it's hard to say for sure when your example ends with an ellipsis.
    – J.R.
    Feb 21 '16 at 4:19
  • J.R. Thanks for your comments. I have edited my answer accordingly.
    – Khan
    Feb 21 '16 at 17:07
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They mean the same thing but syntactically they're not interchangeable. "Based on" modifies a noun; "on the basis of" modifies a verb:

Their conclusions were based on their analysis of three sets of data.

We accepted their conclusions on the basis of their research.

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Based on modifies the subject of the main clause of the sentence.

Based on the test scores, Scott selected the top candidates.

This is incorrect because it makes it sound as if Scott (the subject) is based on the test scores. This could be rewritten as:

On the basis of the test scores, Scott selected the top candidates.

or

Scott selected the top candidates on the basis of their test scores.

On the basis of modifies the main verb of the sentence.

On the basis of the test scores, Scott selected the top candidates.

This is correct because the test scores were used to make the selection.

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