B2 · C1 · C2 · law & crime

Confusing words: rob and steal

Hi there! I’m back with some innovations. This is the first one I’m going to try out, that is, creating a quiz with the plugin Quiz Cat. Some of you will somehow be a bit surprised that I should place the category of these two words under B2 and C2, when it’s almost obvious that at B2 level, we should already know the difference between these two words. But as a matter of fact, I’ve also used a couple of idiomatic meanings associated to these words, so as to make it a little more entertaining.

Concerning these two words, basically speaking we could say that Rob is usually used when referring to taking something (illegally!) from a place, usually from a place that is open to public and not a home where we would use burglary. It’s also worth mentioning that robbery usually involves violence, whereas the verb steal refers more to the act of taking something (also illegally) from somebody or from a part of somebody’s property (a suitcase, for example).

A good way to learn new words, especially verbs is to consult a dictionary and check on collocations (how words are typically used), the verb patterns and how this word can become another type of word, for instance in this quiz both words can be used as adjectives and in passive structures.

rob something from somebody/rob somebody/rob something.

  • The four men robbed $2.000 from the company.

steal something – have something stolen

  • My watch was stolen.
  • Yesterday she had her handbag stolen.

Confusing words: steal and rob

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