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Context:

There were once 15 workers in our shop.
Some weeks ago, the boss of our shop received an important order from the customer, Paul (nickname).
We were told that Paul wanted to hold an important ceremonial dinner for 50 people in three days.
(Each night there would be 50 people, and the dinner would be held in three evenings in a row)
Then the 15 workers were divided into three groups (each group consisted of 1 Chef and 4 assistants).
Each group was asked to make 50 main dishes and 50 desserts
But some problem happened on the third day. Group C could not finish the dishes and desserts on time and ruined the dinner.

Our boss was very unhappy, and the five workers in group C were fired.

Given that situation, is it a formal way to use responsible for in this sentence:

Five people were responsible for the failure of the dinner, and so dismissed from their posts.

If not, is it better to replace responsible for with accountable for?

  • 1
    You started building a story and reading it, at first, I thought it's some math question! Actually, looking at the question in the end, I would not expect the story to be explained at all! Do I consider that your question is simple: Which one is better? Someone 'responsible/accountable' for some failure? And in any case, this and this could be very useful. – Maulik V Nov 6 '15 at 6:35
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    Five people were held accountable for failure of the given task and so were dismissed from their posts. It could be right? – Usernew Nov 6 '15 at 7:06
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    maybe I forgot "the" before "failure," or it could be just me. :) – Usernew Nov 6 '15 at 7:13
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    Thanks Maulik V. Hi Usernew, please post your comment as an answer. I want to give yours a vote up. – kitty Nov 6 '15 at 10:55
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Your original sentence:

Five people were responsible for the failure of the dinner, and so dismissed from their posts.

I would advice you to drop the comma as it is irrelevant in your sentence and add the be verb: were.

The verbs have to agree. In the first clause, five people were held, and so in the second clause the verb must follow the same tense, were dismissed.

Try:

Five people were held accountable for the failure of the given task and so were dismissed from their posts.

Or

Five people were held accountable for failing at their given task and were dismissed from their posts.


From Diffen.com:

.....Accountability is something you hold a person to only after a task is done or not done. Responsibility can be before and/or after a task.

From a similar question on ELU:

You TAKE responsibility and you are HELD accountable.


Read more about verbs here

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