Suppose someone commits a horrible and inhuman action like a murder. The dead one's parents go to the court and ask the judge to do they best to revenge and according to the regulations throw the book at the killer. I was wondering if someone could tell me if in this scenario all the sentences in the list bellow are identical or they are different in meaning:

  • Make him get what he deserves.
  • Make him pay the cost for his actions.
  • Serve him justice.

For me the sentences #2 and #3 mean the same and both are natural, but I'm a bit doubtful about the first case.

  • 1
    Please tell us why you think that.
    – user3169
    Jul 30, 2016 at 20:13
  • @user3169 actually just because I heard those two sentences, but I just made the first sentence myself and it seemed to be technically correct, but I had no idea about its being natural from a native point of view.
    – A-friend
    Jul 30, 2016 at 21:11

1 Answer 1


There are probably various ways to say these, but there are some common phrases that may be used and familiar to others:

He will get what he deserves. (Make him get what he deserves.)

Make him pay the cost for his actions.

*the cost** is not needed because it is already implied in pay. Though pay could mean other things in context.

Justice was served. (Serve him justice.)

This doesn't specifically refer to him, but in context it is probably already known.

  • thank you very much, but just please clarify you confirm the correctness of the sentences "Make him get what he deserves" and "Serve him justice" their being natural and currency. Actually what you wrote was not clear to me if you approved my sentences or you have already suggested some other choices instead which sound to be more idiomatic / common.
    – A-friend
    Jul 31, 2016 at 10:19

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