For/On behalf of

Veera

Senior Member
India-Tamil & Telugu
Hi,

Can I say 'Can I sign for my friend' (or) 'Can I sign on behalf of my friend' (My friend taken off on that day) and one more clarification is that when we'll use the term 'on behalf of'?.

Please clarify my doubt..

Thanks in advance.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    On legal documents, you often see, "signed XYZ for and on behalf of <insert name or name of company>." This is because for and on behalf of mean different things.

    'Can I sign for my friend?'
    = Can I sign in place of/as a substitute for my friend?
    'Can I sign on behalf of my friend?'
    = Can I sign as the agent of my friend? (i.e., "and the implications will be as if he signed it.)

    I came across THIS, which seems only to apply in AE, and not BE
    Usage Note: A traditional rule holds that in behalf of and on behalf of have distinct meanings. In behalf of means "for the benefit of," as in We raised money in behalf of the earthquake victims. On behalf of means "as the agent of, on the part of," as in The guardian signed the contract on behalf of the minor child. The two meanings are quite close, however, and the phrases are often used interchangeably, even by reputable writers.
     
    Last edited:

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    Hi Veera,

    Both "Can I sign for my friend?" and "Can I sign on behalf of my friend?" would be appropriate, and seem equally natural, in this context. Possibly the second option is slightly more formal.

    Your use of "on behalf of" is absolutely fine. Do you have any further questions regarding its use?

    Edit: I cross-posted with PaulQ, who raises interesting and valid points.
     

    Veera

    Senior Member
    India-Tamil & Telugu
    Thank you cycloneviv. Now I clearly understood the difference between 'for' and 'On behalf of'.
    Thanks to PaulQ for the clear explanation of in behalf of and on behalf of.
     
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