Emperor is a countable noun according to the Cambridge dictionary. Why the zero article is used in the following sentence?

You will not be emperor. (Gladiator)

Comparing to the similar construction in which the definite article is used

You will be a god-king. (300 Rise of Empire)

1 Answer 1


Predicate nominals that are unique titles, in the sense of positions being held by one person, can take zero article or a definite article as shown in 31(a) and 31(b)....

a. John is managing editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
b. John is the managing editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cowan, Ron. (2008). The Teacher's Grammar of English with Answers: A Course Book and Reference Guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 218.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .