They elected him president.


Senior Member
Hello everyone,
Here's a sentence that is bothering me.

They elected him president.

My grammar book explains that this sentence is correct as it is, without an article before "president". That is what I learned at school and I think it is right. But
They elected him the president.

If I put "the" before "president", is this sentence totally ungrammatical? Does it bother you?

Thanks in advance.
  • Melz0r

    Senior Member
    English, England
    "They elected him president" seems so much better than "they elected him the president.", although I don't have the grammatical skill to explain why in any coherent fashion. To me "they elected him the president" is not wrong as such, it just seems clunky. I'm probably wrong, though.


    Senior Member
    English GB
    In full, this sentence should really be "They elected him to be the President." As a few words have been taken out, you would need to put them all back in for it to sound grammatical again, rather than just the determiner.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    "The president" may appear in context as "They elected Joe the president and Richard the vice-president." But you wouldn't need the definite articles either. "They elected Joe president and Richard vice-president." For some reason a speaker might want the definite article to specify the offices.