Student or Learner
-If you were president of the U.S., what would be the first change you would make?
In the sentence above, would you please tell me why we don't use 'a' before 'president', especially when I'm not talking about any definite president of the U.S.?
Thank you! bhaisahab.
NOT A TEACHER
(1) You have asked an excellent question -- one that I have often
(2) Besides the moderator's excellent answer, may I respectfully
add a few points?
(a) I think that some people would prefer to say:
If I were the president of the United States, I would ....
(b) As you pointed out, however, it is quite common to say:
If I were president, I would ....
(c) Why? I found one answer in a Google e-book entitled
Studies on Copular Sentences by Renaat Declerck. (Excuse me
for not using a title in front of the author's name. I do not know
whether the author is male or female.)
(i) That author tells us that we may delete "the" when the noun
phrase refers to a rank, function, or position:
That man is president of the club.
(ii) BUT: we may NOT delete the "the" if it describes or identifies,
Tom: Who is that?
Martha: Oh, that is the president of the club.
Have a nice day!
Thank you, James.