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    #1

    'steal' vs 'rob'

    What is the difference between 'steal' and 'rob'?

    To me, 'rob' is used when force is used. E.g. He was robbed at knifepoint.

    He left his cellphone on the table and went to the restroom. When he returned, his watch was gone. In this case, I would use "His watch was stolen".

    Am I correct in my understanding of the two words?

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    Your examples are correct. To steal is to take without permission. Robbing involves taking with violence or the threat of it from the person directly. Burglary is to break into a house or such to steal items.

    So "steal" is a broader term. Robbery and burglary are particular types of stealing. As are theft by deception, embezzlement, etc.

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    #3

    Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    You steal cash; you rob people; you burgle houses.

    Rover

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #4

    Thumbs up Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    You rob banks, too.

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    #5

    Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    He was robbed. His watch was stolen. When he came home he discovered that his house had been burgled and his watch had been stolen. Can you see the difference?

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    #6

    Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    You rob banks, too.
    Fair comment, engee.

    Rover

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    #7

    Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    Thanks, Bhaisahab. I can see the difference.

    However, I am puzzled by the following.

    The bank was robbed this morning. This sentence is fine, I believe.

    His house was robbed this morning. This sentence is not correct, I believe.

    My question is why the bank (a place) can be robbed BUT
    His house (also a place) cannot be robbed?

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Thanks, Bhaisahab. I can see the difference.

    However, I am puzzled by the following.

    The bank was robbed this morning. This sentence is fine, I believe.

    His house was robbed this morning. This sentence is not correct, I believe.

    My question is why the bank (a place) can be robbed BUT
    His house (also a place) cannot be robbed?
    I'd say it's because the bank is an institution, a group of people and a house is a building.

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    #9

    Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    I'd say that rob goes with buildings of public places, where money or any kinds of valuable property is kept.

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    #10

    Re: 'steal' vs 'rob'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Thanks, Bhaisahab. I can see the difference.

    However, I am puzzled by the following.

    The bank was robbed this morning. This sentence is fine, I believe.

    His house was robbed this morning. This sentence is not correct, I believe.

    My question is why the bank (a place) can be robbed BUT
    His house (also a place) cannot be robbed?

    A bank robber goes to a bank and uses a gun to steal money from the tellers. The threat of force is used to take valuables while people are present.

    This is the normal way to rob a bank.

    So it is robbery since the valuables are taken from people while they are present. The people are bank employees, they represent the bank.

    (It is possible that burglars would break into a bank secretly and take the money. They would technically be burglars, but since "bank robbing" is the normal method, they would likely still be called bank robbers.)

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