responsibility - responsibilities


Senior Member

We have just had a kind of a GCSE in our country, where we had a test in English (as a second language). The task was to write in the correct form of the words in brackets. Here is the line I have problems with:
"Florence Nightingale changed nursing from a mostly untrained job to a highly skilled medical profession with very important __________ (responsible)."

The key says: "responsibilities", which is fine, but "responsibility" in their opinion is not acceptable. Are they right?
Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries say that "responsibility" meaning "duty" is countable or uncountable! These are their example sentences from which I guess the singular form should also be acceptable:

Oxford: "1. [uncountable, countable] a duty to deal with or take care of somebody/something, so that you may be blamed if something goes wrong responsibility (for something) We are recruiting a sales manager with responsibility for the European market."
Cambridge: " [C or U] something that it is your job or duty to deal with: [+ to infinitive] It's her responsibility to ensure the project finishes on time."

Thanks for any help.
  • apricots

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The key is correct.

    with very important responsibility :cross:
    with a lot of responsibility/responsibilities :tick:


    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, because nurses have multiple, diverse responsibilities. The countable form is necessary in this context.

    PS. We don't use non-standard abbreviations like "sb" here. That's a short form used in some dictionaries.
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