won <the> election


Senior Member
Good morning, everyone.

Calvin Coolidge easily won election in 1924. Historians believe he could have won another term, too, in 1928. But Coolidge chose not to seek office.
Some believed he was too saddened by the death of his teenaged son. Shortly after Coolidge became president, the boy had been playing tennis and slightly wounded his toe.

Source: VOA Learning English - America's Presidents - Calvin Coolidge: Silent

Does "election" need a definite article in this context?
  • It reads very oddly to me without an article. Is that really how it appeared?

    In the Wikipedia article on that election, there’s a clause “Calvin Coolidge won election to a full term”, which does work without an article (meaning he was elected to serve a full term).

    I’ve just checked the link, and what that text actually says is:

    He easily won elected in 1924. :eek:
    The actual text in your link is:
    "He easily won elected in 1924"


    This is nonsense, and it is obviously a misprint.
    I assume the intended wording was:
    "He easily won the election in 1924"
    or perhaps:
    "He was easily elected in 1924"

    (cross posted)
    The wording in the sentence in the OP is one that is used in the U.S. I don't know how high the frequency is but it is used.

    Here are three examples from the COCA American English database. All three are from prestigious U.S. newspapers:

    - Supported financially by groups such as the National Rifle Association, National Right to Life and various businesses, he won election in 1998.

    - That is about the same number of manufacturing jobs there were when he won election in 2008.

    - He won election in 1998 thanks mainly to white voters, who turned out for him in large numbers.

    It means "he was elected to office". The story will give you the context of which office.

    - That is about the same number of manufacturing jobs there were when he was elected to office in 2008.
    Ah. I thought that might be the case – AE usage – which is why I didn’t go so far as to say it was wrong. :D (But it wouldn’t be used in the UK.)