I would appreciate it if you could let me know what phrase can ne used in the following blanks:

1- Everybody is ................. their own actions. So you cannot blame others for what you did in the past.

a. in charge of
b. responsible for

2- Please assume that you enter a department in an organization and need to know who is the manager or who is the responsible person in that section? What would you ask?

a. Who is in charge here?
b. Who is in charge of here?
c. Who is responsible here?
d. Who is responsible for here?

To me, they both mean the same thing in the second example, but I don't know what for the first sentence, I cannot for "in charge of"! I think for #1, the choice "b" and for the case #2, both of the options "a" and "c" work properly.

I have already read the similar thread.

Some useful links with similar topics:

https://hinative.com/en-US/questions/135186 https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/to-be-in-charge-and-be-responsible.2598001/ https://www.italki.com/question/324140 https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.englishforums.com/English/ChargeResponsible/nxnnj/amp.htm

2 Answers 2


Everybody is responsible for their own actions. So you cannot blame others for what you did in the past.

"Responsible for" is better in this context because it means that everybody is the cause of their own actions. "In charge of" doesn't have this "cause" connotation, but it has the meaning of having the control, or supervision of something. That's why I'd say, "Who is in charge here?" if I were asking about a person managing a department.

I cannot say that "responsible for" and "in charge of" are interchangeable.

The use of "responsible for":

Everybody is responsible for their own actions. (they take the actions, so they are the cause)

I am responsible for finding the volunteers. (it's my duty)

The use of "in charge of":

Philip’s in charge of our marketing department. (the department is under his control)

All in all, the second meaning of "responsible for" is more about a particular area of responsibility (...the minister responsible for the environment (not in charge of the environment). While "in charge of" is about supervision.

By the way, if you come to some office and say, "Who is responsible here?", it may sound really strange. Someone who is responsible is sensible and reliable (e.g. She may be only 14, but she’s very responsible). So the question can sound like "Who is sensible here?" That's really not what you mean.

 [The Train]
 by Anonymous
 It's not my job to run the train, 
 The whistle I don't blow. 
 It's not my job to say how far 
 The train's supposed to go. 
 I'm not allowed to pull the brake, 
 Or even ring the bell. 
 But let the damn thing leave the track 
 And see who catches hell!

In the above poem, which predates the Internet, the writer is responsible, but not in charge. Being in charge implies power or control over a thing, while being responsible just means you bear the burden of guilt for what happens.

In your questions, 1. You are (a)responsible for your own actions. 2. The manager or responsible person is the one who is (a)in charge. The reason responsible is not a good choice for the second question is because everyone or anyone in a given department could be responsible for a failure in the department.

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