0

While I know in certain contexts a title should not be preceded by the definite article, e.g. "He was elected president," I find myself in doubt whether to use the definite article in such a sentence:

My name is John Doe. I am (the) chair of the Economics Department.

My intuition tells me both are correct. And as far as I have searched on Google, it seems both are used. Is that the case? Any difference in meaning? What about this sentence:

As (the) chair of the Economics Department, I wish to congratulate Jane Doe.

  • 1
    Both are fine. It's quite conversational and understandable to hear that somebody is chair of the department without the leading article. – Jason Bassford Dec 9 '18 at 15:30
2

This "the" is required:

My name is John Doe. I am the chair of the Economics Department.

This would be incorrect:

My name is John Doe. I am the chair of Economics Department.

"Economics department" is a specific singular noun (there is only one), so the article "the" is required. As an aside, if John Doe went to a scholastic conference where there were many different department chairs from many universities, he might introduce himself as:

My name is John Doe. I am the chair of an Economics Department.

"The" is not required in this sentence, but it would not be incorrect to include it:

As the chair of the Economics Department, I wish to congratulate Jane Doe.

You might include "the" before a title in this way to emphasize the title. For example, "I am THE President of the United States."

  • I accidentally put the parentheses outside the wrong article in the first sentence. Yes, of course it should be "the Economics Department". No question there. – Eddie Kal Dec 9 '18 at 5:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.