Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Rob or steal?

from English Grammar Today

Rob and steal both mean ‘take something from someone without permission’.

Rob focuses on the place or person from which the thing is taken:

The gang robbed three banks over a period of six months, but were finally caught.

Our local post office was robbed early on Tuesday morning.

A young woman was attacked and robbed as she walked home from work last night.

Warning:

When we are talking about a house, we use burgle:

The house was burgled while they were all sleeping.

Not: The house was robbed

Steal focuses on the thing that is taken:

The thieves entered the museum through the roof and stole three paintings worth more than two million euros.

Our car was stolen from outside our house last week.

Warning:

We usually don’t say rob + object stolen:

He stole my wallet.

Not: He robbed my wallet.

(“Rob or steal ?” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More