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I am trying to form a sentence that tells about how someone is stealing something at the moment. Can I say - "A theft is taking place right now." ? 'Taking place' sounds improper, and too formal. Is there a better way to structure this sentence?

  • It's fine. You can use Someone is stealing x if you want to be less formal. – anongoodnurse Oct 17 '14 at 23:53
  • He's ripping me off!!! – bib Oct 17 '14 at 23:56
  • One can also say going on (right now). The Time is Motion metaphor theme uses go to mean 'continue', as in Is that motor going? And What's going on? is a normal greeting. It can be used to describe any event or process, as long as it's durative and some activity is involved. – John Lawler Oct 17 '14 at 23:56
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    Thanks to @John Lawler for the best suggestion. Here's my attempt to put these synonyms into a least formal - most formal continuum: going on --- taking place - happening --- being committed --- occurring --- transpiring. So 'taking place' is pretty informal. Don't be put off by the multi-word-verb forms. I imagine that 'take place' sounds rather odd to a learner, but it's very common, and better regarded as an idiom rather than verb + noun. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 18 '14 at 0:05
  • Another option would be “A theft is in progress right now.” – PLL Jun 1 '16 at 12:07
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Thiefing is not possible so stealing. If you need the word theft ...it is just taking place or happening right now.

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