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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Arrow Responsibility

    a. "He is responsible for the failure."
    b. "He takes responsibility for the failure."

    Sentence a suggests he is judged to be the cause of the failure. Sentence b suggest he explicitly indicates that he is the cause of the failure. What about:

    c. "He bears responsibility for the failure."

  2. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Responsibility

    I have heard this said - not often - and rarely by native speakers.
    My Oxford thesaurus does not say that bear (as it is used here) is a synonym for take or accept responsibility.
    I would not use the phrase "bears responsibility."

    John

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    #3

    Re: Responsibility

    "He bears responsibility for the failure" is not standard English?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Responsibility

    Quote Originally Posted by yunaday View Post
    "He bears responsibility for the failure" is not standard English?
    If a person "bears the responsibility", he suffers by being blamed or by having to fix the problem. This can happen whether or not he caused the failure, and whether or not he "takes" or accepts responsibility for it.
    But sentences like this aren't usually interpreted without a context. All we know is that the failure is attributed to him in some way.

  5. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: Responsibility

    Therefore, "bear responsibility for" means, under most circumstances, "judged by others to be responsible for", but could also be "proactively take/accept responsibility for" under some other rare circumstances?

  6. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Responsibility

    I suppose so, yes.
    But my point is - an a native English speaker and teacher - I would not use the phrase.
    You are free to do so, people will understand you, but I do not use it because it is awkward.
    John

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Responsibility

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnParis View Post
    But my point is - as a native English speaker and teacher - I would not use the phrase.
    I don't think I would use it, either. However, COCA suggests that it is not uncommon.

  8. Newbie
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    #8

    Re: Responsibility

    Could this be a AmE-BrE difference?

  9. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Responsibility

    Quote Originally Posted by yunaday View Post
    Could this be a AmE-BrE difference?
    I hardly think so, since both American and British teachers have said that they wouldn't use it.

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