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    #1

    Smile 'the' with position

    For a position that is normally held at one time by one person only, can it be used with "the" article?

    for example:
    1. Mr banerji became (the) headteacher of the high school in 1995.
    2. Ed Koch was for many years (the) mayor of New York.

    This really confuses me and beats my brain.
    Thank you.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'the' with position

    To my ear, the 'the' makes it a position and the absence of 'the' makes it a title.

    Ever since graduating from high school, Ed Koch had wanted to be the mayor of New York.

    but

    In 198? (I only have a vague memory, from the live Simon and Garfunkel record ) Ed Koch was elected Mayor of New York.

    b

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    #3

    Re: 'the' with position

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    To my ear, the 'the' makes it a position and the absence of 'the' makes it a title.

    Ever since graduating from high school, Ed Koch had wanted to be the mayor of New York.

    but

    In 198? (I only have a vague memory, from the live Simon and Garfunkel record ) Ed Koch was elected Mayor of New York.

    b
    Hello, Bobk.

    I have two questions regarding you post.

    #1 Should you have said to my ears instead of to my ear? Was it a typo? The phrase makes me feel that one has only one ear still working.

    #2 I know it's quite clumsy, but I suppose you should have said the absence of the 'the' instead of the absence of 'the' , for you were referring to the specific use of the in the OP's examples. Without the definite article, it may sound like you talked in general. Maybe that's exactly why you said so. They both make sense in this context.

    Thanks

    Richard

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: 'the' with position

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    Hello, Bobk.

    I have two questions regarding you post.

    #1 Should you have said to my ears instead of to my ear? Was it a typo? The phrase makes me feel that one has only one ear still working.
    No it wasn't a typo. There are cases, often involving subjective perceptions, where it is normal to use the singular (which denotes a way of perceiving rather than a physical organ). For example 'an ear for music'.

    #2 I know it's quite clumsy, but I suppose you should have said the absence of the 'the' instead of the absence of 'the' , for you were referring to the specific use of the in the OP's examples. Without the definite article, it may sound like you talked in general. Maybe that's exactly why you said so. They both make sense in this context.
    Yes, they do.
    ...
    b

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