I want to check whether I understood these phrases:

  • be responsible for
  • in charge of
  • to report to

Take some kind of organisation for instance, where Linda is a President, Adam is a Financial Director and Bob is a Data Processing Manager. In that case, Linda is responsible for (or in charge of) all organisation. Adam in charge of Finance and reports to Linda.

Am I right?


The phrases you have listed are unique but the first two are interchangeable to some extent.

Linda is the president of our firm. She is responsible for the vision-based management of the firm. She also is in charge of all our board meetings.

Yes, in some scenarios the two are not interchangeable and I'll do my best to clarify that.

  • Be responsible for: To be held accountable for, meaning that you are more concerned with the results and their consequences/effects.

  • In charge of: To be at a commanding position working towards a goal where your achievement of the goal is linked to your ability to take control and steer yourself in that direction.

  • To report to: To work under, to be held accountable by someone. This just means that you will have to be supervised or directly be under the chain of command that someone else heads.

Your understanding of the different phrases therefore is spot on.

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