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Common Error: "Steal" vs. "Rob"

Hello, and welcome again to “Mistake Monday”! Today we’ll look at a Common Error that I’ve noticed in some of my classes: confusing the words steal and rob. Today we’ll talk about how to use these  two words correctly, and on Wednesday we’ll look at some words related to crime and criminals.

Robin Hood is a famous character in English literature. According to the legend, he robbed the rich and gave to the poor. Even though he stole many things, it was for a good reason. (Image Credit)
Common Error: steal vs. rob
DON’T say this: “The criminals stole my house.”
“My backpack is gone! He robbed it when I wasn’t looking!”
“She stole me fifteen dollars.”
WHY? Both “steal” and “rob” are verbs. Their tenses are:
to steal – stole – has/have stolen
to rob – robbed – has/have robbed

-The word steal is used when a criminal takes objects from a person, car, house, etc.
-If you say steal, it’s normally followed by the object that was taken.

-The word rob is also used when a criminal takes objects from a person, car, house, etc.
-The difference is that when you say rob, it’s normally followed by the owner of the stolen object, or the location where the objects were stolen.

INSTEAD, SAY THIS: -“The criminals robbed my house.”
-“He stole my backpack when I wasn’t looking!”
-“She stole fifteen dollars from me.”
OR
-“She robbed me and stole fifteen dollars.”
-“Someone stole my car stereo last night, but at least they didn’t steal the car. It was the first time I was ever robbed.”

So, that’s it for today. If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact me. Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
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