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Thread: few questions

  1. #1
    Dany's Avatar
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    Default few questions



    Could you please help me with the following?

    1.) Why do you say "We read your enquiry of 5 May" and not "We have read your enquiry of 5 May"?
    But you say "We have transfered the invoice amount due to your account on receiving your letter of 8 June". Why not "We transfered the ......" ?

    2.) Other words of the following:
    - to be in charge of
    - to be responsible for
    I thought that "to be in charge of" means "responsible for". But this seems to be wrong. As the Key of the book says:
    - to be in charge of = to run
    - to be responsible for = to be liable
    I'm really confused. So you wouldn't say "He is liable to be in charge of the company", would you?

    Thanks a lot for your help in advance.

    All the best,
    Dany

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    Default Re: few questions

    1.) Why do you say "We read your enquiry of 5 May" and not "We have read your enquiry of 5 May"? But you say "We have transfered the invoice amount due to your account on receiving your letter of 8 June". Why not "We transfered the ......" ?
    'read', pronounced [rEd], past tense, is over and done with, whereas 'have transfered' is present perfect, and connected to the here and now, the present time. It shows a progession of time, form then, in the past, up until now, the moment of writing the letter/email. The writer could have used the simple past, too. It's a matter of speaker choice.

    2.) Other words of the following:
    - to be in charge of
    - to be responsible for
    I thought that "to be in charge of" means "responsible for". But this seems to be wrong. As the Key of the book says:
    - to be in charge of = to run
    - to be responsible for = to be liable
    I'm really confused. So you wouldn't say "He is liable to be in charge of the company", would you?
    Well, hmm, some speakers may use them as synonyms, but reality is, you can be in charge of an account, but not responsible for that account. It's your superior's responsibility. But that's usually not how the world works. It's generally the case that you are in charge as well as responsible. The two are mutually exclusive (run versus liable) but they go hand in hand, and the reason they appear and are often used as synonyms.

    "He is liable to be in charge of the company" (awkward)

    "He is in change, so speak with him if you have any questions. Also, he is responsible, so if anything goes wrong, he will be the one who takes the blame, not you."

    "He is in charge, but you are responsible for the account.

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    Default Re: few questions

    [QUOTE=Casiopea]
    "He is in change, so speak with him if you have any questions. Also, he is responsible, so if anything goes wrong, he will be the one who takes the blame, not you."

    I'm always confused with the words 'with' and 'to'. What is the different between:

    a) He is in charge, so speak 'to' him... or Can I speak 'to' Adam please?

    or

    b) He is in charge, so speak 'with' him..or Can I speak 'with' Adam please?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: few questions

    Thanks a lot Casiopea, now I understand

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by nephele
    I'm always confused with the words 'with' and 'to'. What is the different between:

    a) He is in charge, so speak 'to' him... or Can I speak 'to' Adam please?

    or

    b) He is in charge, so speak 'with' him..or Can I speak 'with' Adam please?

    I don't think there's much difference, at least in British English. Both of your examples work for me, though I don't think I'd use 'with' on the phone.

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    Default Re: few questions

    speak to and speak with tend to be treated as synonyms by most speakers. Speak with, though, is a bit softer in tone, because "with" expresses a connection (two people with speak together), whereas speak to expresses a direct (one person will do most the talking).

    You're welcome.

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