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Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

liable for, liable to

To be liable means to be responsible, often in a legal sense; the preposition for is used in this context.

  • The failed entrepreneur was now liable for her company’s $500,000 debt.
  • Is the landlord or the tenant liable for property taxes?

Liable followed by the preposition to indicates vulnerability or risk. Liable to can also be used as a synonym for likely to, especially when there is some risk of an unpleasant outcome.

  • Travellers who smuggle drugs are liable to (risk) arrest and imprisonment.
  • The young and the elderly are liable (likely) to contract the flu.
  • Are you liable (likely) to be sued?