Hello everybody! Time flies! We´re at the end of August and the next school/high school /university year is almost here. Have you been stolen by someone this summer? Have you witness a crime? Have you ever been arrested by the police? In this post you´ll find some vocabulary related with crimes, criminals, courts and punishment. What do you know about this matter? Go on and test yourself.

Let´s start the post with some nouns and verbs related to ‘Crimes and criminals’. Cover the definition and try to translate them into Spanish. If you succeed, go on and level up!

First of all, what´s a crime? A crime is ‘an action considered harmful to the public good and legally prohibited’ (WordReference). And what´s a criminal? A criminal is ‘a person who is convicted of, or who commits a crime’ (WordReference).



*Assassination (crime) -Assassin (criminal) – To assassinate (verb) –> To kill a famous or important person for money or for political reasons.

*Blackmail (crime) -Blackmailer (criminal) -To blackmail (verb) –> To force a person to give you money, usually by threatening to expose a secret.

*Bribery (crime) – To bribe (verb) –> To pay money to somebody (e.g. an official) for a favour.

*Burglary (crime) -Burglar (criminal) – To break in / To burgle (verb) –> To steal from a house.

*Drug dealing (crime) – Drug dealer (criminal) – To sell drugs (verb) –> To sell drugs.

*Fraud (crime) – To commit fraud (verb) –> Trickery carried out for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage

*Hijacking (crime) – Hijacker (criminal) – To hijack (verb) –>To take control of a plane, usually for political reasons.

*Kidnapping (crime) – Kidnapper (criminal) – To kidnap –> To take somebody away and demand money for their return.

*Mugging (crime) – Mugger (criminal) – To mug (verb) –> To assault or attack, usually in order to rob.

*Murder (crime) – Murderer (criminal) – To murder (verb) –> To kill a person intentionally.

*Rape (crime) – Rapist (criminal) – To rape (verb) –> To force someone to have sexual relations.

*Robbery (crime) – Robber (criminal) -To rob (verb) –> To steal from a bank, shop…

*Terrorism (crime) – Terrorist (criminal) –> To use violent action for political purposes.

*Theft (crime) – Thief (criminal) – To steal (verb) –> To take something (e.g. a car) without the owners permission.

*Vandalism (crime) – Vandal (criminal) – To vandalize (verb) –> To damage public property for no reason.

NOTE 1: People who steal can be: thief (in general), burglar (from a house), shoplifter (from a shop), pickpocket (in the street) or robber (from a bank, shop, etc.)

NOTE 2: When a killing is not intentional it is called manslaughter.



-To be caught red-handed –> To be caught in the very act of the crime.

-To be arrested –> To be seized by legal authority or warrant.

-To be charged with... (e.g. murder) –> To be officially accused.

-To pay a fine –> To pay a money impossed as a penalty for an offense.

-To do community service –> To do unpaid work for the community instead of imprisonment.

-To be questioned (by the police) –> To be interrogated.

-To be sentenced to (X years) in prison /jail –> To be condemned to punishment.

Other words and phrases

-Court. (Tribunal)

-Witnesses. (Testigos)

-Judge and jury (Juez y jurado). –> There are twelve jurors in a jury. (Jurors: miembros del jurado).

-Verdict. (Veredicto)

-Guilty / Not guilty / Innocent. (Culpable, no culpable, inocente)

-Proof. (Prueba)

-Fingerprints. (Huellas dactilares)

-Life sentence. (Sentencia de por vida, cadena perpetua)

-Capital punishment (the death penalty). (Pena de muerte)

-Illegal (against the law). (Ilegal)

-Lawyers. (Abogados)

-Handcuffs. (Esposas)

-Minor offence. (Delito menor)

-Serious crime. (Delito grave)


And that´s all for today. Thanks for visiting our blog! Leave us a comment.