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Hi all. I'm having trouble with articles in English. I have looked at many explanations on them, and now get the hang of it. But what still puzzles me is when I see an omission of an article in sentences like: "election of Barack Obama as (no the?) president of the United States"

How come "the" or "a" was not required in the sentence? When would you say "as the president" as opposed to "as president"? Is this a similar case to omitting "the" in sentences like "go to school"?

Someone help! with examples if possible.

Thanks.
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Hi,
I'm having trouble with articles in English. I have looked at many explanations on them, and now get the hang of it. But what still puzzles me is when I see an omission of an article in sentences like: "election of Barack Obama as (no the?) president of the United States"
How come "the" or "a" was not required in the sentence? When would you say "as the president" as opposed to "as president"? Is this a similar case to omitting "the" in sentences like "go to school"?

Someone help! with examples if possible.

The lack of an article indicates that the writer is thinking of 'president of the United States' as a unique title. Such titles are usually capitalized, (ie President), but sometimes people are careless.

There are many presidents in the world.
eg The president of the United States. The president of IBM. The president of Home Hardware.

But there is only one President of the United States.
There is only one President of IBM.
There is only one President of Home Hardware.

Best wishes, Clive
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I don't disagree with Clive, except perhaps that I don't consider it necessary to capitalize the title in all contexts unless the name of the person is mentioned. Clive didn't mention that the article is required if the title is the subject of the sentence: The president of the United States was present.

The article is usually omitted after certain verbs if the title can be had by only one person at a time:

He was made king.

He was elected president.

Who was appointed prime minister?

Who will be [the] chairman of the meeting?

As isn't a verb but the article is omitted when as occurs as well - as in your example.

There's only one king, president, prime minister and chairman at a time. However, there are more than 600 Members of Parliamant in Britain:

He was elected an MP. (= Member of Parliament)

CB
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Thank you. Clive and Breeze. Your replies are very helpful.
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