I'd like to ask if there is a difference between these verbs in terms of meaning, formality etc. in the following sense. Can you change the words between the sentences so as to see if they are interchangeable, please.

To lie with

To be somebody’s duty or responsibility.(formal)

It lies with you to accept or reject the proposals.


To rest with

If it rests with somebody to do something, it is their responsibility to do it. (formal)

It rests with management to justify their actions.


  • Argh, I wish people on ELU would put this much thought and effort into their "what's the difference between A & B" questions. +1 out of pure envy.
    – Dan Bron
    Mar 21 '16 at 18:51

Same meaning in this context, but different etymological origins which have long since lost their significance.

Lie came from the latin word lectus (a bed) via german liegen (to lie). Rest came from the latin word restare (to remain), via french rester (to remain).


As @JavaLatte points out in your examples both phrases have the same meaning, outside of your context they can have fairly different meanings.

Another phrase which is similar to both of yours (in your context) is

leave it with

Leave it with me.
I will be responsible for it.
I will take care of it.

Leave it with management.
Let management decide


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.