LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||21/MAR/2010 12:46 PM|
|Assunto:||to rob and to steal|
This has been discussed, many, many times. The basic concept is easy to understand, but there are many nuances and idiomatic usages.
To rob is to use force/violence or the threat of force/violence to deprive another of property. (To a lesser degree, it can also mean to take property out of a location: to rob a tomb, rob a safe, etc.)
To steal is to use guile, deceit, etc. (the threat of force/violence) to deprive another of property.
You can rob a bank but you cannot steal it. (When you rob it, it use the threat of force/violence to take the money. In this sentence, "bank" means more than just the physical building that cannot be threatened; it includes the employees who can be intimidated. Also, you are taking money out of the bank, If you stole a bank, it would mean you put the bank into your car and took it home or to your hideout in the mountains. How on earth would you do that? And why?)
You can steal a bicycle but you cannot rob it. (How would you intimidate a bicycle, make it afraid of you? You cannot.)
You can steal a cradle and you can rob a cradle. (If you steal the cradle, you take it home for your own child to use or you sell it and keep the money. If you rob the cradle, it is an idiom that means "to marry or date someone much younger than yourself." In this example, you are removing something from the cradle, you are robbing it.)
You can rob a safe and you and steal a safe. (If you rob it, you take money out of it. If you steal it, you put the safe in your truck and drive away.)
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