Vocabulary & Life Tips: BE RESPONSIBLE! DON’T BLAME ME! WHOSE FAULT IS IT?


Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo. Hi. James from engVid. Excuse me for a second. Oh, look the star is born. What do you mean? Who is responsible for spilling your coffee? I don’t know. I don’t know who to blame; it’s not my fault. You know, in life a lot of times things go
wrong, and in English we have three words that we use a lot to indicate who should fix
it, who is responsible for it, and who we want to point out who’s responsible for it;
and sometimes they’re the same and sometimes they don’t match up at all. But today I’m going to teach you three words
or we’ll work on three words to talk about how to fix up a situation, and who can fix
up this situation, and who we might point the finger towards. Okay? So, let’s go to the board. I’m going to give you some formal and some
informal, some words on responsibility. So, my worm is upset because his coffee is
on the floor. He thinks he’s a star; he’s wearing some glasses. And let’s check the board: Who can help us
here? Okay? So, three very popular words in English are:
“blame”, “responsibility”, and “fault”. Each of these words are actually tied together,
and in some of the definitions, you might actually see me use some of the words in another…
in the definition, you’re like: “But you have ‘responsibility’ and ‘blame’, and you have
‘fault’ and… ‘Fault’, ‘blame’ and ‘fault’.” Yeah, because they’re kind of mixed together;
they’re comingled or, like, they’re joined together because they are attached to each
other. So, what I want to do is start off with the
first one, which is funny enough the nicest one: “responsibility”. It’s a noun. The adjective is “responsible”: You are a
responsible person, and you have a responsibility. Now, we look here: What is a “responsibility”? Well, the first thing we say is: A state or
fact of having a duty to deal with a situation or person. So, whose responsibility is it? Who has to deal with somebody or take care
of a situation; whose responsibility? So, at work, you know, whose responsibility
is it to fix this? You know: “Is it the plumber? Is it the boss?” Right? You got to deal with it. The state of being accountable. That means you… say, if something goes wrong,
I’m the one-count-you can count on to fix it; I’m the one you can come to. And a part of a job. If it’s your responsibility as manager to
close the door and count the money, those are part of your jobs. Right? The final one is the moral obligation to act
properly. I expect you to not throw food at a teacher
in a classroom. That’s your responsibility; it’s a moral obligation. It’s not a job that you have to do: Not throw
food at somebody, but it’s a moral obligation we call, and we expect people to, you know,
act properly, and not have orange hair and act like babies when they’re in political
office. But that’s another thing. So, anyway: “responsibility”. Now, you notice this, and you go: “What is
this and what is that?” I’m going: Well, don’t freak out too much. This is how you would say it because a lot
of times people from different language groups will have problems saying it, because if you
speak Spanish, for instance, they will say “spec-eal” instead of “special”, because the
“e-s” is the sound you make. So, I’m going to give you something to help
you, so: “r-E-sp-on-sib-il-ey-T”. That’s a big T, right? Responsibility. Not: “Responsibilite”. Responsibility. Cool? All right. That’s how we say that one. And to make it easy, to make it basic: This
is the person who can fix it; they either have the power to fix it, it’s their job to
fix it, or it’s a moral obligation to fix it. Responsibility. So, we each have the responsibility to take
care of ourselves, to pay our bills, to be on time, and to be good people. All right? And you can say it’s a duty almost, in some
cases. So, if we’re talking about responsibility,
when somebody does something bad… okay? We can’t say it’s their responsibility to
do something bad. What we do is we blame them. “Blame” is a verb; when you blame somebody. And now you look here, I’m going to go from
here, and look, it goes: Assign responsibility for a fault or wrongdoing. “Assign” means give. So, we’re taking this word “responsibility”
as in you take ownership for it and you say: “Okay, it’s mine. I will take care of it.” When we blame somebody, we go: “Okay, well,
it’s not mine; I blame you.” So, I’m going to give you the responsibility
for the bad action – that’s why we say “fault” or “wrongdoing”. Don’t worry, if you don’t know what “fault”
is, I’m going to get there in a second. But something’s gone wrong and I need to point
out who’s done it. Okay? Next: It’s a… sorry. A responsibility for something bad. So, there’s a wrongdoing but it’s a bad situation. I blame the weather for my plants dying. Okay? This is bad. The weather isn’t doing anything wrong; it’s
something that’s bad: My plants are dying and I need to blame someone. I need to put the responsibility on something
or someone, and I say it’s the weather. Okay, so the third and final one I want to
discuss is responsibility for a fault or a wrong. Commonly in English, we say: “Take the blame.” Something is wrong; someone must take the
blame. Someone must take something. In this case, you must take that responsibility
for the fault or wrong. So you’ll commonly hear someone say: “You’ve
got to take the blame for what you’ve done.” Responsibility for a wrong. Cool? Now, finally, because you noticed that word
“fault” came up, and you’re like: “I don’t know what that means and you keep saying it”,
but before I get there: “bl-A-mm; blame”. Okay? So, the large A indicates I want you to say
the vowel sound a lot: “blame”. Who is to blame? Okay? Now, I said that blame directs it, but what
is “blame” directing, exactly? When we talk about a fault – a “fault” is
a problem or something we don’t like. First one we talk about: Unattractive or unsatisfactory
feature of work or a person’s character. If you have character faults, you are dishonest,
you talk behind people’s backs – that’s something wrong with you. Or there’s a fault in your work – it means
there’s a problem or something not good. Okay? So, a “character fault” is about a person. And when we talk about an “unsatisfactory
feature”, something we don’t like about somebody’s work. Yeah? Responsibility for an accident or misfortune. This is where the blame comes from. You have to be responsible for something that
happened; usually it’s an accident. We don’t think when it’s your fault… by
saying it’s somebody’s fault, we’re not saying they did it on purpose. We’re saying something happened, it was unfortunate
or it’s not a good thing, or it might have been an accident, but you end up becoming
responsible for that action. Ultimately, we say you’re responsible for
the bad thing happening. But it gets confusing saying you’re responsible
for the bad thing happening, so we say: “We’re going to blame you. It’s your fault because it’s your mistake.” Next, as a verb: To criticize for inadequacy
or mistakes. So, if I say: “I can’t find fault in your
work”, I can’t criticize or find weakness in your work. Sometimes people say, you know… we can…
yeah: “We find no fault in your work. You did a good job.” We find no problems or we can’t criticize
you. So, “fault” can have any of these meanings,
okay? But in this case, it takes on a verb form. And you notice, here, it’s: “f-all-t”, as
in “all”: “fault”. Whose fault is it? And this is the person who did it. It’s like: “Who done it?” Sherlock Holmes. Right? So, we found out that these big fancy words:
“responsibility” is: “Who can fix it? Who has the power? Who has the situation to do so?” Okay? I can’t say orange anymore. I won’t say orange guy anymore. When we talk about “blame”, we’re directing
it: “Where is this going? Where are we putting this responsibility for
bad things?” We’re pointing; it has to go this way. Somewhere it has to go. And, finally: “Who did it? Whose fault is it? Who is the actual one who did it?” So, these are three, big, powerful words. And if you think about it, you do this all
the time anyway, most of the time in a day, you’ll say: “Whose fault is it the door was
unlocked? Who…? Why do I take the blame?” Actually, a lot of times we talk about “blame”
is like: “Why are you blaming me?” People don’t say it to you; you say: “Why
are you blaming me for the open door?” because you’re saying I’m responsible for not doing
my job properly. And somebody might say: “Well, it was your
responsibility to do it”, and I would say: “Don’t blame me.” Okay? And I go: “It’s not my fault; it’s E’s fault.” Cool? And you notice how these three words play
into each other in, first of all, the definition for each one? The other word seems to come in; you got blame,
you got fault, you got responsibility, you’ve got fault – they all play together, and they
work together like that in the real world where we talk to each other in this way. You probably use words similar to this in
your own language, and I want to give you the three words that we use a lot. Now, once again, using a word and not really
understanding it is no good, so we’re going to go into our second part of the lesson where
we’ll explore it, use it, see if you can use it, and then I’ll give you a bit of a bonus. Are you ready? [Snaps] Okay, we’re back. Now, I know it’s my responsibility to teach
you how to use these words, or it’ll be all my fault, or actually you’ll blame me if you
don’t, so let’s go to the board. And I’ve got a little story about Shingo,
one of my favourite Japanese students, and his problem with money. Let’s take a look at the board. So, Mr. Shingo… let’s read it out. Read it out. So: “Shingo is bad with his money and he says
it’s because of his parents, because they were poor. Shingo knows he has a duty to educate himself
about money but one of the biggest weaknesses is his inability to save money.” Okay. “He knows the mistake is his and it’s his
job to pay his bills, but he prefers to consider his parents for the problem.” Hmm. I would say this one should be: “…are the
problem”, but we’ll see why that might change later on. Okay? So, he thinks his parents are the problem. So, let’s look at this. Shingo isn’t good with money; he thinks it’s
his parents’ fault. He has a weakness. He considers them the problem. And I’m going to bet that we can find the
new words that we… that we learned will help us actually make this story sound better,
have a greater flow, and be more interesting to the person who’s listening to it. So, let’s try this first:
“Shingo is bad with his money and he ______________ his parents.” Actually, let’s go back a step. Let’s identify what we have to change before
we go there. Shingo is bad with his money and he says it’s
because of his parents. Hmm. Why don’t we…? If we say this… if we change this part,
here, that could be one of the parts we change. Can you find anything else we might change? Yeah, I think “duty”, because we have a word
that means “duty”, right? Okay. We can say: “biggest weaknesses”. What else do you think we should change? Okay. We could say: “mistake” and “his job”. What else do we have left? Let’s take a look. Is there anything else you can see? I’ve got one, two, three, four, five maybe. “…consider”. Now that we’ve identified the parts we can
change, let’s look at what words we can actually put in there. The first thing we notice is that:
“Shingo is bad with his money and he ______________ his parents.” Do you remember we talked about directing,
directing when the responsibility for someone or who’s at fault? The word we used was “blames”. Now, we said “blame”, but I told you “blame”
is a verb and this is third-person singular, so we change “blame” to “blames”. Okay? And he blames his parents because they were
poor. “Shingo knows that he has the ______________
to educate himself”. When we dealt with fault and blame, we talked
about “fault” was who broke it, and “blame” is to direct it, but the one word we used
that said you have the power to blame… one word that we said that gives you the power
to fix it was “responsibility”. Right? If you’re responsible, it’s not just authority;
you have the power to fix it. And I drew that man with a hammer. So… so, he has the responsibility to educate
himself about money. “…but one of his biggest ______________…” Now, it won’t be “blame” because “blame” is
to point, and he’s not pointing; it’s a fact. And it’s not going to be “responsibility”,
A) because we just used it, but that’s not right. “Fault”. Remember we talked about “fault” is something
that’s unsatisfactory or not nice; a character flaw? In this case, one of his biggest faults is
his inability to save money. “He knows the ______________…” What? Yes, the “fault” is his. Similar word for the similar meaning. “…and it’s his ______________…” What? His “blame”? “…it’s his responsibility
to pay his bills…” “…but he prefers to ______________…” And “preferring” is something you like. And when you like it, you kind of direct it
towards yourself. I’m pushing it on that one, but you understand
what I mean because he wants to blame his parents for the problem. And that’s why I… honestly, I changed the
word, here, because really-okay?-we need to change it; we need to show preposition for
that means someone to receive; and in that case, receive is for blame, and that doesn’t
really work up here. Sorry, I’m good, but I’m not perfect. Okay? So I’m trying to make it work for you. So, if you notice over here… let’s read
the whole sentence together now, let’s read the story. The first one was: “Shingo is bad with his
money and he says it’s because of his parents, because they were poor. Shingo knows he has a duty to educate himself
about money but one of his biggest weaknesses is his inability to save money. He knows the mistake is his and it is his
job to pay his bills, but he prefers to consider his parents are the problem.” It’s okay. But with our new words, a little snappier:
“Shingo is bad with his money and he blames his parents”. That’s much more powerful in English, to point
that blame at somebody than to say it’s them; to blame them. Right? Stronger. “…because they were poor. Shingo knows the responsibility to educate
himself”. That word “responsibility” really weighs on
your shoulder, because it’s like: “Oh, it’s a burden. It’s heavy.” Right? “…to educate himself about money. And one of his biggest faults”, now, look:
You’ve gone from: “I just learned English”, to: “Look, I can use English.” One of my greatest faults; so weaknesses. It’s a nice word. I mean, it may be smaller than “weakness”,
but it has a greater umph in English. “…is his inability to save money. He knows the fault is his”, the problem is
his. See? Look at that: I’m getting like a preacher,
here. Like: “The problem is yours. The fault is yours.” Right? “…and it’s his responsibility to
pay his bills”-he has the power to do so; he should be doing so-“but he prefers to direct
that blame to his parents”. Nice, right? I would kiss you if you were here this is
so good. Thank you for helping me with that. But before we go, I need to give you a bonus,
and you know the bonus is to further our English because you’ve done a good job. Why don’t we look at something? And we will at the board. Where? I’m going to give you the three words we worked
on, I’m going to give you the antonyms. An “antonym” means the opposite; usually means
the opposite of what a word means. Okay? And then I’m going to give you some other
synonyms, and “synonym” comes from “syn”, meaning same, same name with a similar…
they’re similar; you can use them maybe not exactly in the same way but they have sort
of the same meaning. I’ll start off with the first word: “blame”. Okay? If you blame someone, you can “absolve” them. It’s a fancy word for saying: “I remove the
blame from you. You are not responsible for it. I absolve you of this. You are free of this, you are not responsible,
you are not to be blamed.” Okay? “Absolve”. I absolve you of this. Another word for “blame” is “j’accuse”, French
for: “I accuse you”. Okay? “Condemn”. “Condemn” is a little bit more than blame;
it’s not only do I blame you, but I want something bad to happen to you. I condemn you to Hell. Okay? But what I like is this one, is much more
regularly used in English, is: “point the finger”. Who do you point the finger at? You remember I had a finger pointing over
here for a reason. Usually I say: “Don’t point the finger at
me”, which means: “Don’t blame me.” Cool? Okay, so that’s this one. Now let’s look at “fault”. The opposite of “fault”, which is “weakness”,
remember? I have many faults as a human being; I have
many problems or weaknesses, is… one of my strong points is I like to talk – that’s
why I’m teaching you. That’s different than a fault. Actually, some people think I like to talk
is a fault; I like to see it as a strong point, and that’s how we can use these two. Now, there’s words such as: “mistake”, “error”,
and “glitch”. We talked about faults being problems or they
can be mistakes, or you can say: “You made an error. Your fault.” It’s a nicer way of saying: “Your fault”,
not as strong. But a “glitch” means a problem. “We have a glitch.” So, instead of saying we have a fault in a
situation: “We have a glitch.” And a glitch is sort of like a hiccup, hiccup. It just doesn’t quite work; there’s a small
problem that we have to get by. It’s not as strong as “fault”. And this like: “point the finger” is a softer,
and I say colloquial, used by more people, so: “You have a glitch in your system.” The system isn’t quite working just right. Okay? “Responsibility”. Well, that’s it, there’s no other word. There is no antonym for “responsibility”,
except for “not responsible”. The word is so powerful in itself, we say:
“You’re responsible” or “You’re not responsible”. There’s not really another word that can…
we can use as an antonym to this; it’s just “not”: “It’s not my responsibility.” That’s how powerful that word is, so use it
wisely. Okay? When we say it’s a responsibility, remember
I talked about job, part of your jobs or your responsibilities? Another thing is saying: “One of your roles
is”, it means: “One of your jobs is”. One of your roles as a teacher is to help
students feel comfortable; that’s part of your job. “Responsibility” can be “accountable”. A lot of you know about accounting, and the
account numbers, and they make bills and they say: “This is what this means.” When you’re accountable, like an accountant,
you have to bring the things together and at the end show what it means. I am accountable. I count, I bring it together, and I present
it. Or, in this case, I’m responsible. “Who is accountable for this situation? Who will take care of it? Who is responsible?” And finally: “responsibility” comes with authority. “Who is the one who’s responsible here? Whose responsibility? Who has the authority to do something?” And this is where we say “responsibility”
talks about the ability to change a situation. If you have the authority, you have the power
to actually do something about it. And I would say that’s true: You have the
responsibility for your education, and you’re using it wisely because you’re watching this
video right now. Before I go, I just want to give you one small
thing or one more thing, which is homework. It will be your responsibility to do the homework. I don’t blame you if you’re rolling your eyes
now, going: “Oh my god, homework. I’m not in school.” Well, you came to the video, so now it’s your
fault if it doesn’t get done. See? I use all three words because I speak English. By the time you’re done this video and done
the homework, I expect you to be able to use these words in the same fashion. So, I want you to create five sentences using
the bonus words or the ones I gave you before. And once again, as I always say, join our
community and use your examples at the end of this when you make comments for the video;
show people you can use it and show me. And also go do the test at engVid: www.engvid.com,
where there’s a test, you can go in there, and there’s a vibrant… vibrant, sorry. There’s a whole bunch of people happy, looking
forward to meeting you, that exchange information and get together, and actually chat offline
as well, and I’d like you to be part of it. Don’t forget: Subscribe. There’s a bell; ring that bell and I’ll ring
your bell. Sorry. I got too excited; don’t blame me. You’ll get the latest video that I do, and
yeah, that’s about it. Look, I hope you had a great time. I look forward… as always, thank you for
being part of the audience. I look forward to seeing you soon. Ciao.

71 comments

  1. Totally agree mate! It’s easy to blame circumstances, what isn’t so easy is to look in the mirror and admit that you’re responsible for everything in your life.

  2. thank you professor James am very appreciate to learn much more from you and listen to you thank you very much ❤🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  3. It's my responsibility as a student to achieve to speak, to act and to write like a native speaker does. I don't blame myself to take my time and to have patience to make my dream come true. But it was my fault not to give all when I wrote the English exam.

  4. He ate my cookies that why I accused him. He wasn't listening to me.I t's not my fault that he ended up at the hospital. Well… I have to say that I don't blame him because I know how delicious my home-made cookies are. ((:

  5. I have been studying Italian for two years and I haven't reached that kind of Level i should. It's not my error, it's my teachers fault. She always explain the grammar and the vocabulary in our native language. I should probably start to show some interest to the lesson…

  6. This insightful video has made me responsible to subscribe this channel. And if I'm not pressing it's bell icon, it means I'm at fault and I can't blame anybody for my own fault.
    Thank you respected Sir. Learned a lot!

  7. I adore you! I am a teacher and I can say you are doing everything right to make us remember the class and love English.

  8. Interesting…
    In Portuguese, we have a word called "irresponsável". It means that somebody is not responsible.
    Eu sou responsável = I am Responsible
    Eu não sou responsável , or Eu sou irresponsável = I am not responsible.

    Thanks for the lesson!

  9. Anyway, James is a top teacher and should be an example for all the teachers of whatever subject out there. Yep, I'm talking about you, 80% teachers of my university. Your FAULT!

  10. Thank you!!! It’s my responsibility to appreciate your job. Even If I forget that I studied English with you, I’m not gonna point finger at you because it’s my fault that I didn’t review. But I think I’ve done the homework already so it’ll not gonna happened that I blaming you 🙂

  11. I'm responsable for my education, if someday can't succeed and make my parents happy, it's gonna be my fault, and in that moment Will there no one else to blame

  12. Are you kidding ? There is an antonym for the word “responsibility “. It is negligence. Negligent? You see? Failing to take proper care over something?
    Otherwise, thank you for bringing the words into consciousness!

  13. Please keep politics off your channel… didn't tune in to hear you political opinion… if you continue I will have to hold you responsible for these unnecessary critiques, I will blame you 100% and it will be totally YOUR fault that I unsubscribe… just sayin'…. not necessary and unpleasant…

  14. Why do I understand 99% of James speech, but really struggling when listening Americans face to face? That really makes me upset!

  15. It's not my responsibility to pay for your bills, it's your fault not to be the smart enough to save money, don't blame me.

  16. Hello Mrs James, my name is Lev. I'm from Latvia. I've been watching your channel for about two weeks and I really enjoy it thank you very much for your work. I stated learning English last summer and because of it I make lots of mistakes. It'll be a great pleasure for me if you check my text and correct my mistakes. So, these are my five sentences:
    1. I have a responsibility for my futere.
    2. I don't want to blame myself in the future because of I don't speak English well, so I learn English every day and Mrs James helps me in it.
    3. It's my fault if I won't learn English.
    4. I realize my responsibility of learning English.
    5. I hope I don't have a lot of faults in my text😊.

  17. Thx James , From your channel I found what I hv to do and what I need to do in my rest of life.
    😙😙😙😙

  18. Hello guys. Im a student from Poland. I have problem with talking and im trying to get over it. If somebody has B2 lvl and the same problem we can help each other and talk through skype. Have a nice day!

  19. hey, can you make a video about compound-complex sentences? i struggle a lot with this kind of sentences, and i dont want to keep sounding like a 3rd grader

  20. Dear Sir,

    I need your help, i want tens video in a proper way. Start for the basics. Sir it would be very great full for me. Kindly

    Regards,
    Mohit Khandelwal

  21. Hi, I'm from Congo and i was willing to teach English to some people at my church, my problem is that I don't know which kind of material I have to start with, since many of them have never been in contact with English. Please I need your help. Thanks.

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