What's the main difference between: I was charged with and I was in charge of?

Be charged with - means to be responsible, be in the command or in the control of something.

Apparently, they seem to perform the same function. Nevertheless, I presume "Be in charge of something" is used when the object is a noun -

  • I am in charge of the work

Whereas "Be charged with something" is used when the object is a verb (which is always followed by -ING)

As you can see in here: charge - Cambridge

  • I am charged with supervising the kitchen
  • 'Be charged with' is rarely used nowadays in the sense of 'be given the responsibility of [running etc]'. Collins and RHK Webster's list the sense you mention quite a way down the list of polysemes (and this reflects normal usages), even if AHD doesn't. The usage is very rare in informal registers. – Edwin Ashworth Jan 21 '17 at 17:01

Bot can be used with either a noun or a verb. I would say the main differences are meaning/connotation and frequency.

"I am charged with" has more of a sense of delegation. It implies pretty strongly that there is a superior who "charged" you with a task. As Edwin Ashworth said, it is not a very common expression nowadays.

"I am in charge of" doesn't usually imply this. In fact, the expression "(be) in charge" is often used to describe people at the very top of the hierarchy, and can be used without any object, as in "She is the person in charge around here."

  • Whenever I see constructions called ones “uncommonly used nowadays”, I am always concerned that this unfairly denigrates anything said—or even more especially, written—way back during the fading and antiquated world of yesterday morning in favor of hip contemporary (and often uneducated) casual speech that is expected to be heard at the local pub this coming afternoon. It’s something of an inverse recency illusion. What happens to people who want to read yesterday’s newspaper? The existing English language didn't die when today’s kindergarteners were born. – tchrist Jan 21 '17 at 17:51
  • Thank you sumelic. But you shouldn't base your answers on what's used nowadays, I liked your answer and it was clear for me, but you should follow tchrist advice. – Haseo Jan 22 '17 at 14:32

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