I don't understand what the function of the preposition of has in the following sentence:

He had the honour of being elected as the new president.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


"Of' has a very broad field of meaning.

Here it is used in this sense:

a function word to indicate a particular example belonging to the class denoted by the preceding noun

See https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/of

There are many types of bestowed honor: being president of something is merely one type.

It is a traditional but perhaps stilted way to say

He was honored by being elected president

  • Marrow Thank you for your answer. Is it true to say that by+being is used to say how he was honoured and that of+being is used to provide an example of how he is honoured?
    – user263596
    Jan 15, 2020 at 3:20
  • An extremely precise speaker might possibly try to make that distinction that way, but few if any would comprehend it. I greatly doubt that anyone would interpret (a) "He was honored by being elected president" as implying that he had no other honors to his name, or (b) "He had the honor of being elected president of local dogcatchers association" as implying that he did have other honors to his name. Interesting question. Jan 15, 2020 at 4:00

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