I hear these phrases oftentimes in contests or competitions where the recipient of a particular prize is not present and someone is receiving the prize for the recipient. Those who deliver the speeches use "on behalf and in behalf". Someone told me that "on behalf must be used to represent a person, but I oftentimes hear people say "in behalf" to refer to someone, i.e., saying "In behalf of Mr. Wolford... Is this correct?
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"On behalf" and "in behalf" are both correct, and today most of native speakers, particularly Americans, use them interchangeably. The American Heritage Book of English Usage says, however, that there is this traditional rule: use "on behalf of" to mean "as agent of, on the part of," and use "in behalf" to mean "for the benefit of". Examples: "Robert accepted the 'best performer' trophy on behalf of his sister Angela, who was then on a European singing tour." "The musicians held a benefit concert in behalf of the tsunami victims." The two phrases are actually very close in meaning. So one should not worry about the choice at all.
[quoted from The Manila Times]

In British English only use on behalf. In behalf sound extremely odd to me.
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'In behalf' does not sound well to me as if it were not true English I ever got used to hear.

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The standard phrase is 'on behalf of . . '.

Merriam Dictionary

Main Entry:be·half
: interest , benefit ; also : support , defense <argued in his behalf>

— on behalf of or in behalf of
: in the interest of; also : as a representative of

usage A body of opinion favors in with the “interest, benefit” sense of behalf and on with the “support, defense” sense. This distinction has been observed by some writers but overall has never had a sound basis in actual usage. In current British use, on behalf (of) has replaced in behalf (of); both are still used in American English, but the distinction is frequently not observed.
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Nona the Brit is probably right--

In the end it is just a matter of considering which kind of English one likes to get involved in- British English, Oxford English or any other English.

English, just like any other language, has taken (and is still taking) all kinds of forms.

"In Behalf" sounds weird to me, though... -:)



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Funny, I googled up "On/In behalf of" to check if americans used them interchangeably. In British English in behalf of means for the benefit of (like raining money for a cause) and on behalf represent/agent of.
in behalf of somebody / in somebody's behalf (US) in order to help somebody. We collected money in behalf of the homeless.

on behalf of: as the representative of somebody or instead of them. On behalf of the department I would like to thank you all.

The phrase also means in order to help somebody: They campaigned on behalf of asylum seekers.
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