Difference between “rob,” “thief,” and “steal”

Learn English Words - Robber
The thief is watching you…
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Robber or Thief (n.)= the person

  • The robbers ran away from the police.
  • The thief took my laptop and cell phone.
  • “Give me all your money!” the robber said.
  • The thieves were tall, white men who looked about 22 years old. One had brown hair and the other was blonde.

Robbery (n.) = the event

  • Police are investigating the robbery of the Main Street Bank.
  • The robbery occurred at 4:30 PM.
  • Three employees were injured during the armed robbery.
    (an “armed robbery” means there were weapons – guns or knives)

Theft (n.) = the event or the crime (in the justice system)

  • He was sentenced to eight years in prison for the theft of a motorcycle.
  • We immediately reported the theft to the police.
  • Ken was accused of identity theft.

Rob (v.) = the action

Often used in the past as robbed:

  • Donald robbed a total of five supermarkets before being caught by the police.
  • My favorite pizza shop was robbed last month. Luckily, no one was hurt.
  • I was robbed at gunpoint while walking home from work.

Steal / Stolen (v.) = the action of taking something specific

Steal is always used together with an object – the object that was taken.

  • The thief stole a gold necklace from the woman’s bedroom.
  • Wendy’s wallet was stolen on the subway.
  • Jim was caught stealing money from his own company.
  • Rachel tried to steal Carla’s boyfriend.

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600+ Confusing English Words Explained

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