how responsible

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how responsible

Post by navi » Tue Sep 21, 2021 2:40 am

Which are correct:

1) How responsible is she for our failure?

2) How much is she responsible for our failure?

3) She is as responsible for our failure as I am.
4) She is as much responsible for our failure as I am.

5)He is as responsible for the maintenance of the machinery as I am.

6) He is as much responsible for the maintenance of the machinery as I am.

As 'responsible' is an adjective, one would expect the ones with 'much' to be unacceptable, but are they?

In the first four 'responsible' refers to the past. It involves the idea of blame here.
In the last two, it conveys duty.

Gratefully,
Navi
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Re: how responsible

Post by Erik_Kowal » Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:50 am

All the versions with "much" seem as natural to me as those without.

The difference is that the extra emphasis given to equivalence in these versions has the paradoxical rhetorical effect of emphasising the importance of the role of the grammatical subject of these sentences (whether that role is positive, neutral or negative).
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