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General Writing and Grammar Help/Be in charge - be in control

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference between "to be in CHARGE" and "to be in CONTROL"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is there any difference between "to be in CHARGE" and "to be in CONTROL"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** In many instances the two phrases can be interchanged.  "In control" is a much stronger phrase than "in charge."

For instance, when an airplane is flying, the pilot is in control of the various mechanisms that are used to keep the plane from crashing.  That means he is totally "in charge" of everything.  If the pilot needs to take a break, he turns CONTROL of the plane over to the co-pilot.

EXAMPLES:

Each member of the group was given a task and he was IN CHARGE of getting that task done.  John, as the group's leader, was IN CONTROL of the entire project.

The dictator took over complete CONTROL of his country's government.

Mary was IN CHARGE of decorating the hall for the dance; Jane was IN CHARGE of cleaning up the hall after the dance.

The teachers are IN CHARGE OF all their classes; the entire school, however, is IN CONTROL of the principal.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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