"the onus is on..." Style and popularity?

Hi, to me the phrase ‘the onus is on us to…’ sounds very good and I like it. My question is how many people would use this phrase and how would describe the register of it? I mean, it’s rather high-level, business style, isn’t it?


TOEIC listening, talks: Supervisor is giving instructions about payroll procedures and company policy to new employees[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten

You’re right. The word “onus” is not a terribly “low level” or “everyday” word. It would most likely be used in some kind of a professional or business context. I imagine that lawyers are also fond of this word. And I think you’ll also find the word onus used in the news.


Ms Google says: 4,100,000 English pages for ‘the onus is on them’; 4,070,000 English pages for ‘the onus is on us’.

We’ve always used the phrase in my family-- I learnt it from me paw. I think you’ll find the set phrase more common than the single word onus.

Hi Charles, thanks for that. Could you please explain why you think Google is female ;-)?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, talks: Starting a biology lecture[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Mr. M

Yes, Google does find a lot of instances of “the onus is on”, including, for example, this sentence:
[i]The onus is on the people who want to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster to find evidence that [He] is there.[/i]” :lol:

Nevertheless, I still feel this expression is not terribly “low level”. But also that it’s not exclusive to business. :wink: