What is the difference between rob and steal?
Subtle differences between words can be tricky, especially in a case like this one. The Oxford Guide to Canadian English Usage explains that, in archaic English, rob was a synonym for steal.
Time marches on, and in modern usage, both words refer to taking something from a place or person without permission. The Gage Canadian Dictionary defines rob as "take away from by force or threats" and steal as "take dishonestly." Clear, isn't it? Luckily, there's an easy way to tell these words apart:
The verb rob is usually followed by the preposition of, while steal is followed by the preposition from. Sometimes the phrase starting with of or from is understood or not stated. For example:
Here are some fixed expressions with rob and steal that may come in handy.
If you remember that you rob someone of something, and you steal something from someone, you'll be fine… just don't get caught.