I agree that we use the indefinite article when talking about not unique jobs/occupations. But does it somehow change depending on the position of the job word in a sentence? I mean, "Builder John has won the prize". Is it common to say like this?

So, I would appreciate it if you could help me with the following sentences:

John is a builder. Builder John has done sth. (or The builder John has done sth?) John, the builder ..., has done sth. (or John, a builder (like a member of a group))

or, if talking about somebody who is famous the writer Alexander Pushkin or just writer? or "Alexander Pushkin, a writer ... ."? or the writer?

and if talking about unique positions The president Trump ... . Trump, the president ... . (or just "Trump, president...")

1 Answer 1


As Pushkin is famous, we would refer to him as the writer. A writer would be used to explain who a little-known person is.

The president of a republic is referred to as President X in the same way that we say Queen Elizabeth. We would say Donald Trump is the President of the USA because, as you say, it is a unique position.

As for John the builder...

John is a builder That is his job. John was the builder of my house. That's why he is significant to me. I thanked the builder, John, for doing such a good job. We wouldn't use 'Builder John'. John Smith, a builder from Portsmouth, was arrested yesterday. That tells people who have never heard of him who he is.

  • Note that President Is being used as a title in President Trump, and titles have their own rules separate from jobs in general. It’s not about being unique.
    – StephenS
    Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 15:55
  • We can say "The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump,..." Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 17:01

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