He robbed a woman just hours earlier.

He robbed a woman of her bag.

Why not say "He robbed a woman her bag"? Why should "of" be used here?

Likewise, it seems that the usage of "fine" is similar to

He fined the woman $ 100.

Why not say "He fined the woman of $100"?

  • 1
    No reason. It's just an arbitrary requirement imposed by the English language. – snailcar May 21 '14 at 6:36

Because that's the structure. You always rob somebody/something OF something

rob - to steal money or property from a person or place

So, it's He robbed a woman of her bag.

Likewise, you always fine somebody something FOR something/doing something

fine - fine somebody something

So, it could be - He fined the woman $100 for breaking the traffic rule.

  • It's usually good practice not to use the word you're defining in the definition. Although, to be fair, it's more of a predicate-argument syntax than a definition. You can also just rob somebody, without specifying what it was, a la: she robbed him, I was robbed, etc. Similarly you can fine someone without specifying the amount: He was fined. – jimsug May 21 '14 at 6:08
  • @jimsug No! That's not the OP is concerned about. I think everybody knows that she robbed him is a complete sentence. The OP specifically asked how/why preposition 'of' is used. And, I used it could be in my last sentence and included the preposition to make the point clearer. – Maulik V May 21 '14 at 6:19
  • 1
    Yeah, sorry - got carried away with syntax. But my point about definitions stands. Just because something in your answer isn't what the OP asks for specifically, doesn't mean it shouldn't be well-formed. – jimsug May 21 '14 at 6:23
  • @jimsug you again missed it! I specifically typed the standard use of prepositions in 'preformatted text' and did not include them as definitions. In fact, if you want well-formed sentence, I think everybody will strongly prefer going for the structure defined in OALD. :) – Maulik V May 21 '14 at 6:58
  • Okay,using exclamation marks makes you sound defensive. I apologise for thinking that you were defining the words using quote formatting. Clearly, I misunderstood. – jimsug May 21 '14 at 7:10

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