I came across the headline "Becoming king of the lionfish to save the ocean" from CNN but grammatically I guess the king of the lionfish seems better correct as the king is of the lionfish. Is it grammatically correct not to use the in this case, or does it give different meaning with or without the article?

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    "King" is a unique role, and in such cases we often omit articles. Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 3:26
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    @prosseek - All is revealed here! Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 4:09
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    Your question title does not match what you are asking about in the question body. Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 4:51
  • @P.E.Dant - theoretically, the database of StackExchange will survive longer than many of the links to external resources, so someday it will be a dead link. I usually quote excerpts into my answers or hyperlink to Wikipedia, which may stay shipshape for long, I hope. (0: Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 6:57
  • @AlanCarmack The article (forgive me...) is dense, and the question has other issues, but your point is well-taken. Haven't looked for a good Wikipedia source. That's sound advice. Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


It doesn't really matter that much, although yes, the king would be slightly more grammatical, because the definite article is used before singular and plural nouns when the noun is specific or particular.

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    Can you please explain why it would be more grammatical.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 9:06

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