Which one is a correct sentence to say about my card which has been stolen? i want to convey this to my father:

"I think my card is stolen by my friend"

or should I say,

"I think my card was stolen by my friend"

Correct me if I am wrong.

Are both of the sentences showing the fact of my card being stolen?

  • I think my card is stolen by my friend - if you are speculating the stealing it's absolutely fine. I'm pretty sure about it and will stand by my words.
    – Maulik V
    May 16, 2014 at 4:13
  • I think you can say: I have my card stolen.
    – Kinzle B
    Jun 28, 2014 at 3:57

4 Answers 4


There are two version of "stolen" that come to mind; the adjective and the verb.

Since your "friend" has completed the act of stealing the card, you would use past-tense verb for describing the act. If you were describing your card, you would use the present-tense "is" and an adjective.

So for example:

  • My friend has verbed my card. - What has happened to the card in the past.
  • My card was verbed by my friend. - An alternate was of saying the exact same thing.
  • My card is abjective. - What the card's current state is. You cannot say "by my friend" here, because that would turn it into a verb.
  • My friend has stolen my card.
  • My friend has copied my card.
  • My friend has augmented my card.


  • My card is stolen.
  • My card is copied.
  • My card is augmented.

Note that the adjective form of a verb is usually the same as the verb's past-tense form (as opposed to using the adjective "white" and getting the verb form - whiten, for example).

The best you can do is use the verb form which will imply the adjective form for you: "I think my card was stolen by my friend" gives all the information: Your card is stolen and your friend is the culprit.

  • What if I want to tell an additional information about my card that eventually I still own in the present but I know that was stolen in the past so I am not the legal owner of the car. I have a stolen card? Nov 8, 2018 at 9:09

It depends on whether you are focusing on the act of stealing the card, or the fact that the card is stolen property. In your example, it is the former. You would say:

I think my card was stolen by my friend.

"Is stolen" would be used in a sentence like this:

I think this card is stolen.

You would not add "...by my friend" to this. We're using "stolen" as an adjective to describe the card, basically.

A word with similar usage is "broken" ("it was broken by my friend" versus "it is broken").

  • one more example like "Report is not sumbitted/Received by him" or "Report is not submitted/Received"
    – user4084
    May 15, 2014 at 13:35

The correct sentence is:

I think my card was stolen by my friend.

Here, you use the past of is because the action of stealing has completed. The card is gone; it is not currently becoming stolen. Here's an expanded sentence with the same meaning:

I think my card has entered and is now in the state of being stolen, which was caused by my friend.

Using the past tense does not imply in this case that the card is no longer stolen. When something is described as stolen, it is generally understood that it remains so unless otherwise noted. Unlike, say, running, the state of being stolen does not naturally terminate. So, saying I think it was stolen does not imply that the object has been recovered, while saying I think he was running does imply that he is no longer running, because we know that people stop running after a relatively short time.

The alternate sentence (is stolen) sounds very awkward because of these reasons, though I don't think it's not grammatical.

If you want to make it more explicit that you still don't know where your card is, you could say:

My card is missing, and I think my friend stole it.

If you want to convey that your card is currently the target of a theft in progress, you could say:

My card is being stolen by my friend.

  • The train is gone - the action is completed and it used is. The action would depend more on using the past participle there. If the card is stolen it means the process is completed.
    – Maulik V
    May 15, 2014 at 10:16

I don't believe "is stolen", by itself, is ever correct.

The card has been stolen, is being stolen, or was stolen. This is a stolen card. (Not "this is stolen card".) The card is "stolen goods". (A special case due to the quoted phrase.)

And now I'm going to idiomatically steal away.

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