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The following year, a large and expensive class action lawsuit was filed in order to hold accountable the party responsible for the disaster.

I searched on dictionary and only found "hold someone accountable (for something)" so I was confuse what does hold accountable in this sentence mean. What is the object of this sentence?

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The expression you found in the dictionary is correct:

Hold someone accountable (for something)

However sometimes we switch "someone" and "accountable", especially if the object is too long to fit in between "hold" and "accountable", as in your case (i.e. "the party responsible for the disaster").

  • So it will be hold the party responsible accountable for the diaster? – Bell Apinya Aug 28 '18 at 7:26
  • You can say "hold the party responsible for the diaster" or "hold the party accountable for the diaster". – Dr Sitecore Aug 28 '18 at 8:09
  • But why in this sentence it has both responsibillity and accountable. Aren't these 2 words mean the same? – Bell Apinya Aug 28 '18 at 8:25
  • Because they want to hold accountable not just ANY party, but only the party (that is) responsible for the disaster. They want to be very specific. – Dr Sitecore Aug 28 '18 at 8:48
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To be held accountable for some harm done is to be required to pay the costs of making the injured party "whole", for example, paying for repairs to damaged property or paying the medical bills for injured persons, plus possibly paying some punitive fines above and beyond those incidental costs.

In your sentence, the main clause is cast in the passive voice:

A large and expensive class action lawsuit was filed [by someone]

A law firm filed a class action suit on behalf of the injured parties.

And the purpose of the suit is expressed by a (subordinate) infinitive clause:

... to hold accountable the party responsible for the disaster.

the party responsible for the disaster is the object of the verb in that clause. That party will be held accountable.

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