I have read all of them and they all tell the same thing. The Prime Minster of India. But then, which one is better to use. To me, grammatically, all mean different!

India Prime Minister -what sort of sentence structure is that? Something like America Farmer!

Indian Prime Minister -This talks more about the nationality of the prime minister or character of a person from a particular region. Something like What is the difference between Indian Prime Minister and Japanese Prime Minister. The latter one would have small eyes!

India's Prime Minister - fits better (in my opinion though).

What is your take on these?


3 Answers 3


Your thinking is largely valid.

"He is India prime minister" is wrong. The noun is "minister", so normally any other words that modify the meaning should be adjectives, like "Indian", and not another noun, like "India".

"He is India's prime minister" or "He is the prime minister of India" is correct and the most clear. You are telling us that he is a prime minister, and then you are identifying the country that he is prime minister of.

"He is the Indian prime minister" is also correct. Yes, it does have the potential to be ambiguous. If someone from India moved to, say, Australia, and then became prime minister of his new country, you could describe him as "the Indian prime minister of Australia". When Alberto Fujimori became president of Peru -- as you might guess from the name, a person of Japanese descent -- people in the U.S. sometimes said that Peru now had a "Japanese president". But I think "Indian prime minister" would normally be understood to mean the prime minister of India. It would only be if the context required another meaning that we would think it meant a prime minister of another country of Indian descent -- like if it was clear that we were talking about the prime minister of Pakistan. (Okay, not a likely example.)

  • We Brits don't take so much notice of Peruvian politics, so knowing about Julia Gillard, I Googled Welsh prime minister of Australia. I was a bit surprised to find they also had a Welsh premier a century ago. I've always felt that the Welsh have contributed more British politicians per head of population than the English, but I didn't know they'd built it up into a thriving international business. Oct 1, 2014 at 14:27
  • So the Welsh are plotting to take over the world ...
    – Jay
    Oct 1, 2014 at 15:08
  • @Jay Just when you thought the world couldn't get any harder to understand...
    – Damien H
    Oct 1, 2014 at 23:23
  • +1 and selected for the last paragraph! That's what exactly I had in my mind!
    – Maulik V
    Oct 2, 2014 at 4:58

Two of them I would regularly use, however the first one - "India Prime Minister" - should (IMO) re-worded:

Prime Minister of India.

Indian Prime Minister.

India's Prime Minister.


The distinction lies in what the different phrases represent, and how that affects the grammar of the sentence when that phrase is used, such as "The laughed."

India Prime Minister "The India Prime Minister laughed." The phrase is ambiguous, because it is not clear what the connection is between the nouns India and Prime Minister. This appears in the sentence as well, as it is not clear it also is not clear which of them performed the action, and there is no way to modify the rest of the sentence to make it clear.

Indian Prime Minister "The Indian Prime Minister laughed." Indian is an adjective that describes the Prime Minister, specifically that the Prime Minister is an Indian person. The grammar of the sentence is also correct.

India's Prime Minister "India's Prime Minister laughed." The 's shows that the second noun Prime Minister belongs to India. This also makes it a proper noun. Since the is not used with proper nouns, it has to be removed from the sentence.

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