This is the story of a man whose wife suddenly loses her money.

This is the story of the man whose wife suddenly loses her money.

Do both sound natural? My teacher from Vietnam said that we have to change ‘a’ to ‘the’ in the relative clause. But I don’t think so. Can someone clarify this for me?

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    "...a man..." is correct here. In the history of the world there have been many men whose wives have lost their fortunes suddenly so the specific man described here is not uniquely defined and we use the indefinite article. This is like "A man with a young wife" , "A man with a beard" and so on. We would use "...the man..." where the man is uniquely identified, for instance "The man who invented the telephone" or "The man whose wife lost her money and went on to found the Oligarch Corporation". – BoldBen Jan 23 '18 at 15:39

The first (with 'a') is much more natural.

When a subject is first introduced into a narrative, it is indefinite unless the writer has a particular instance in mind and expects the reader to know which one they mean. (Or, as a story-telling trick, to pretend that the reader is already familiar with the people or things in the story).

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