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  1. #1
    bigC is offline Junior Member
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    responsible and hold responsible

    What is the difference in meaning of the sentences:

    John shall be responsible for the missing money.

    John shall be held responsible for the missing money.

  2. #2
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: responsible and hold responsible

    Probably none at all if the person who says this has the authority to deem John responsible for the missing money even if he's not.
    But 'responsible' has several meanings. John could be responsible for finding the missing money, without any imputation that he had taken it - that is consistent with the first sentence.
    What's the context? Is this is a real situation?

  3. #3
    bigC is offline Junior Member
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    Re: responsible and hold responsible

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Is this is a real situation?
    This is not a real situation.

    I always hear "...be held responsible..." in movies, and I feel the phrase imposes a threatening tone.

  4. #4
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    Re: responsible and hold responsible

    Quote Originally Posted by bigC View Post
    This is not a real situation.
    I always hear "...be held responsible..." in movies, and I feel the phrase imposes a threatening tone.
    Yes, it can.

    You don't always hear that in movies. Perhaps you often, or occasionally, do. Be careful with 'always' and 'never'. They almost always make your assertions wrong! In English, 'always' is generally taken literally. It should be reserved for when you mean 'always'.

  5. #5
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    Re: responsible and hold responsible

    I am not a teacher.

    I don't find, "John shall be responsible for the missing money" particularly natural. Is this a prediction? He either is or isn't responsible.
    "John is responsible for the missing money" makes more sense to me.

    To answer the question in the thread title "responsible and hold responsible" I think the following distinction might be useful.

    "John is responsible for the money" = Looking after it is John's responsibility.

    "John shall be held responsible for the missing money" = John is going to be blamed for losing/stealing/embezzling the money.

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