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Jane Mairs, Director of English language Learning Publishing
What preposition should be used after "responsible"?
Monday September 22nd 2014
Question
What preposition should be used after "responsible"?  — Osman, Sudan
Answer

The short answer is that responsible is usually followed by the preposition for. If you want to know more, read below.

When the adjective responsible is used to describe a person or thing that caused something, or that has the job of managing something, it is followed by the preposition for, as in these examples:

  • The technicians found the glitch that was responsible for [=caused] the computer crash.
  • Who was responsible for [=caused] the accident?
  • She is responsible for [=has the job of managing] the company's publicity.
  • The committee is responsible for [=is managing] organizing the dance.

When responsible is used to mean "capable and trustworthy," no preposition is used, as in these examples:

  • She is a very responsible worker.
  • Is he responsible enough to have a car?

Occasionally, though not often, responsible is used to describe someone who is working under the direction and authority of a specific person in an organization. In this case, responsible is followed by the preposition to:

  • I am responsible to her, and she is directly responsible to the company president.

 

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