They elected him president.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Akasaka, May 12, 2008.

  1. Akasaka 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.
  2. Melz0r Senior Member

    Suffolk, England
    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.
  3. bbip 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.
  4. johnp

    johnp Senior Member

    "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.
  5. thimbles96 Senior Member

    They elected him as president.

    Regards Thimbles 96
  6. Akasaka Senior Member

    I appreciate your help. Articles always make me confused. I guess I have to accept the sentence as it is.

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