I was reading a story and read following lines:

Few robbers tried to threat a restaurateur so that he should return money to their boss. Restaurateur defied their warning and ran away from there. While running, he and his assailants reached the roof of an old building.

I think "his" shouldn't be used along with "assailants" here, as its meaning appears to me that "assailants" were working for the restaurateur. However, the writer meant that the "assailants" were chasing the restaurateur in order to frighten him. So, I think that "his" should be replaced by "the" here.


1 Answer 1


There are many problems with this sentence -- too many to easily list -- so replacing "his" with "the" isn't going to make it sound more natural.

But to address your question: I agree that "the" is better than "his", but as written the sentence doesn't imply that the restaurant owner was working with the criminals. That wouldn't make sense.

Sure, if you said something like

the mob boss and his goons

it would be reasonable to assume the goons work for the boss. "He (the restaurant owner) and his assailants" is much like saying

the debtor and his creditors


the assassin and his target.

The two items are related, yes, but you have to figure out the nature of their relationship from context.

  • Sorry, I am not able to find any other mistake in this excerpt of the story. Can you please point out some of these mistakes? Oct 2, 2017 at 7:17
  • Start with "Few robbers tried to threat a restaurateur", which contains two grammatical errors.
    – Andrew
    Oct 2, 2017 at 15:17
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    Plus, the use of "restaurateur" is valid, but odd because it carries additional meaning. Restaurateur "traditionally ... refers to a highly skilled professional who is proficient in all aspects of the restaurant business." Since his proficiency is not important to this context, I would just say "restaurant owner". "Restaurant owner" and "restaurateur" are synonymous but not identical terms.
    – Andrew
    Oct 2, 2017 at 15:17
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    I think the first error is that "Few" should be replaced by "A few" which means "some". The second error is the use of the word "threat". It should be "threaten". Oct 2, 2017 at 15:28
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    @abhijeetpathak Yes, that's right. "A few robbers tried to threaten a restaurant owner" is grammatically correct. By the way, in this context the criminals aren't "robbers". We would more accurately call them either "extortionists" or "enforcers", depending on the details of the restaurant owner's relationship with their boss. But that's advanced vocabulary stuff :)
    – Andrew
    Oct 2, 2017 at 15:37

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