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General Writing and Grammar Help/Take control of - take charge of

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there a difference between "to take CHARGE of something" and "to take CONTROL of something"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

I have been sick [probably a virus] for the last few days.  I hope my answers make sense!

*****

Is there a difference between "to take CHARGE of something" and "to take CONTROL of something"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** Yes, there IS a difference.

The two words, charge and control, do mean the same when they are used in "mild" sentences.  However, "control" can be MUCH STRONGER, so you would use it in "strong" sentences, in which you are expressing the idea of "control through strength."

EXAMPLES:

The teacher asked John to TAKE CHARGE of the class, while she went to the principal's office.

If someone doesn't TAKE CHARGE of this project, we will never get the work done.

Jane is an obnoxious person; she likes to TAKE CONTROL of everything, even when she is not capable of leadership.

The rebels rose up and TOOK CONTROL of the government; their first show of strength was the execution of their country's president.

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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