On Board vs. Onboard

  angbeenc  —  Grammar Tips
Have you ever wondered if you are on board or onboard a train or a plane? What about the time you agreed to help your friend carry out a crazy plan? Are you on board with his crazy idea or onboard? The answer is same for both questions as even though the two words have different use, they are both however correct.

With the help of this article, I will illustrate the difference between the two words, highlighting their contextual meanings. At end, I would explain a useful trick to help you utilize on board or onboard accurately in your writing instantly.

On board as prepositional phrase:

On board is prepositional phrase in nature and refers to someone who is on or in a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle.

A plane crashed with three people on board.

Onboard as adjective:

The word onboard functions as an adjective which refers to something or someone available or situated on board a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle.

On-board catering staff is very poorly trained.

Onboard as verb:

Onboard is also used as a verb which means to go through procedures to effectively integrate (a new employee) into an organization or familiarize (a new customer or client) with one's products or services.

This data has tremendous value in helping to onboard new hires and manage their performance.


Justin boasts an onboard 3-D camera system for analyzing points in space. [Wired News]

Although the airline grabs headlines for threatening to charge people to use onboard toilets or save money by dumping co-pilots, it normally turns to conventional ruses. [Guardian]

At one highway fill-up, the onboard computer showed I had a range of 880 km. [National Post]

President John F. Kennedy called Shepard after he was taken on board the aircraft carrier that retrieved him from the ocean. [USA Today]

San Pietro was being sailed by the remaining crew on board. [Stuff.co.nz]

Onboard or on board:

Both the words contain the same alphabets but they are to be kept separate as onboard is an adjective that is defined as being devoted, and as a verb that means to accustom new employees in the business. On board is an adverb and prepositional phrase that refers to boarding any transport vessel or agreeing to something.

Use onboard as an adjective before the noun it modifies. The phrase on board is two-syllable word that goes after the verb and acts as an adverb or a prepositional phrase.

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