Can stolen be used in this passive stucture, in which not all transitive verbs are capable of being used? The meaning I hope it has is my piggybank has been stolen.

I've been stolen my piggybank?

By analogy with the passive voice structure "I was given an apple."

  • 1
    Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 11:41
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    No, but you can say I've had my piggy-bank stolen. (I've never heard of a kitty-bank.) Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 11:42
  • Kitty an amount of money that is made up of small amounts given by different people, used by them for an agreed purpose: I have been robbed/burgled It's never "I have been stolen"
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 12:41
  • You can also say "I've been robbed of my ___". But stolen doesn't work that way.
    – stangdon
    Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 14:27
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    The most common idiomatic usage here is I've raided my piggy-bank, where "piggy-bank" is a "childish" word often used to refer to a child's pottery pig with a slot in the back to accept coins given to the child to save. It's often difficult to get the saved coins out of the pottery pig without smashing it, so even when the childish usage is (facetiously) used by adults, it represents a last desperate effort to scrape up funds for some desired purchase. But people rarely steal others' piggy-banks (that's as mean as taking candy from a baby), so we have no fixed term for that. Commented Jan 2, 2023 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


The reason your sentence doesn’t work is because give takes a direct object and an indirect object. The direct object is the thing that was given, and the indirect object is the entity it was given to. In the passive phrasing, “I” is essentially the indirect object and “an apple” is the direct object.

Steal takes a direct object (the item that was stolen). It does not take an indirect object. The reason for this is because, if it did take an indirect object, it would mean “the item was stolen to the person” - and you don’t steal to a person, you steal from a person.


I've been stolen my piggybank doesn't sound correct.

use instead:

  • I've had my piggy bank stolen
  • my piggy bank has been stolen
  • My piggy bank was stolen


I found when searching a bit into your question that Jonathan Byrd's lyric says in his song I've been stolen

I’ve been stolen, I’ve been stolen
The devils have taken my hand

he doesn't add a noun to the phrase though.

  • Like it when you reference the usage of this term from the lyrics of a song. Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 1:49

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