The Use of Articles with Nouns in Apposition and with Predicative Nouns
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The Use of Articles with Nouns in Apposition and with Predicative Nouns

He is a teacher.

I’m sure you know Alfred Hard, a professor at London University.

They are good friends.


The definite article serves to show that the speaker or writer is referring to a definite person or thing. It is also used when the noun is modified by a limiting attribute:

Philip had been the hero of his childhood.

Then Jack, the most impudent person there, interrupted me.

“My brother George is the only relation I have,” said Sir Henry.

Monday, the day of our departure, was cold and rainy.

The noun in this case usually has an of-phrase attribute.


When a noun used predicatively or in apposition denotes a unique position (rank, state, post or occupation) it is used either with the definite article or without any article:

Mr Johnson, Superintendent of the school, received me in his office.

Mike Slattery was chairman of a great publishing firm.

Mr Johns was the leader of our group.

I talked to Mr Pike, the assistant director of the firm.


Nouns used predicatively or in apposition are used either with the definite article or without any article when they denote a relationship and stress is laid on the social position of the person expressed by the subject:

Mrs Nelson was wife of the manager of the firm.

She was the wife of a local tradesman.

Then I was introduced to Charles March, the nephew of our host.


With nouns




used predicatively and in apposition the following three variants are possible:

· She is the daughter of a doctor. (mere relationship is expressed)

· She is a daughter of a doctor. (the idea that the doctor has more than one daughter is expressed)

· She is daughter of a doctor. (the social position of the person in question is described)


When predicative nouns serve to denote a certain characteristic of the person indicated by the subject they are used without any article. The noun predicative is usually followed by the adverb



She was child enough to feel sorry about the loss of the toy.

He was fool enough to believe that.


Predicative nouns after the link-verbs

to turn, to go

take no article. The verb

to take

indicates a change of occupation or allegiance. The verb

to go

denotes change of political allegiance:

He turned sailor.


Appositive nouns denoting titles (ranks, posts) are used without any article when they precede personal names:

Dr. Ross, President Roosevelt, Lord Byron, Princess Margaret, Sir Charles, Prof. Drake, Queen Elizabeth, Colonel Casey, Judge Parker, Lady Quern

Note 1.

Foreign titles, however, require the definite article before personal names:

the Emperor Napoleon, the Czar Peter

Note 2.

It is important to remember that when titles are not followed by a personal name articles are used:

He is a professor.

The professor is going to give a public lecture.


Appositive nouns denoting family relations take no ar­ticle before personal names: Aunt Agatha, Cousin George, Uncle Tom


Other appositive nouns take the definite article when used before personal names:

the painter Hogarth, the critic Hudson, the girl Mar­tha, the student Jones, the Republican leader Foster, the pianist Carter


A frequent use of this kind of apposition is found with names of books, films and with scientific terms:

the novel "War and Peace", the film "Lady Hamil­ton", the verb "to be", the term "heavy water"


Exercise 1.

Explain the use of articles with nouns used predicatively in the following sentences.

1. He was

a lawyer

by profession. 2. Aunt Laura was

the widow

of an auctioneer. 3. When Murray was appointed


of "The Literary Gazette" his salary became eight hundred a year. 4. As it was, she was

the best-looking woman

there. 5. Jasper was

the son

of my father's elder brother. 6. My father had been


of an organization of doctors in New York. 7. He was

a talkative fellow

. 8. They made him

a major-general

after he left the headquarters. 9. We were


of our class and time. 10. Johnson is made


of the club. 11. John could not make up his mind about the blackmail. He had been led to think that McGrath himself was

the blackmailer

or at least

a blackmailer

because he had the personality to be

a blackmailer

. 12. After some most astonishing adventures in New Guinea he made himself


of some wild tribe. 13. No, you are getting this quite wrong. She's

the wife

of a friend of mine. 14. Prune was


of the estate up the river. 15. With a face like yours I'd be at least

the president

of a steel company.

Exercise 2.

Explain the use of articles with nouns used in apposition.

1. The girl he loved was Laura Merton,

the daughter

of a retired colonel who had lost his temper in India. 2. It wouldn't be hard to make up a story for

Uncle Philip

. 3. For some days Hotchkinson,

the solicitor

to whom Eden had deputed the case, sent me no news. 4. He had been to the tomb of Hafiz

the poet

. 5. Two men,

two passengers

, came along the gangway, and she amused herself by trying to guess whether they were single or married. 6. Charles was dancing with his cousin,

a good-looking girl

. 7. Even Mr March,

the most realistic man

there, could not for­give me. 8. He now arranged with Spender,


of "The Times Literary Supplement", to write articles on current French literature. 9. They drove up to the terminal,

a brightly lighted and air-conditioned building

. 10. I was chatting with the man's wife,

a lady in purple trousers

, when he was called to the telephone. 11. He accepted the post of


to a diplomatic mission. 12. In the rear of the car, Margaret Howden,


of the President of the firm, said to her husband: "You look tired." 13. He's

Doctor Evans, the nephew

of your host tonight. 14. The principal of the school decided to send

the boy Chalmers

back home. 15. That evening I was introduced to

Captain Riley


Exercise 3.

Supply the required articles, paying special attention to the nouns used predicatively.

1. He was at that time ­­_____ lieutenant in _____ British Army. 2. Mr Richardson was _____ owner and editor-in-chief of the pub­lishing house. 3. Rudy had _____ gift of being liked. That was why he had been elected _____ president of his class three times in a row. 4. She was _____ wife of _____ doctor. 5. Philip was not _____ humbug but _____ hard and realistic man. 6. At the time I was_____ manager of_____ Crawford Street branch of _____ bank. 7. I saw _____ group of _____ workmen coming toward us. One of them was_____ fat, red-faced man, and I presume he was_____ foreman. 8. Mr Knight was _____ excessively lazy man, who preferred to sit down. 9. It's _____ girl called Betsy. She's _____ boss's secretary. 10. Henry Greene was _____ son of _____ general. 11. It seemed that Aunt Molly had been _____ only relative to offer practical help. 12. His study was _____ darkest room in _____ house. 13. His father was _____ good soldier. 14. I might be _____ leader of _____ party instead of you. 15. His wife and Sheila were _____active, strong women, who loved using their muscles. 16. I'm going to be _____ president of this company. 17. This fellow is _____ man I want for the job. 18. He was_____ manager of _____ largest estate in _____ district. 19. ____ man who wore_____ glasses was _____ husband of Mrs Holt. 20. "We are merely_____ tourists," Tom said. 21. "She is _____ very silly creature," he said. 22. There seemed no reason why he should not eventually be made _____ Governor. 23. On _____ way back to our compartment we passed Natalie Winter. She was _____ very shy woman. She was also _____ star of the season. 24. She is proud of being _____ daughter of _____ poet. 25. If anyone could tell her what Mr Potter wanted to know, Mrs Ferguson was_____woman.

Exercise 4.

Look at the statements below. Decide whether you can leave out “the” where it is underlined in each sentence, and put “yes” or “no” in the spaces provided.

1. He became the chairman of the company. ­­­_____

2. I was the manager for only six weeks before the company went bankrupt. _____

3. Mrs. Jacobs is the head of two departments. _____

4. They made him the leader of the gang. _____

5. I’m going to meet the director of the club. _____

6. Mr. J. Benn, the owner of the shop, made no comment. _____

7. He’s been the captain for the last six matches. _____

8. They made the President sign the document. _____

9. She was the Queen for only a hundred days. _____

10. I was the best man at his wedding. _____

Exercise 5.

Supply the required articles, paying special attention to the nouns used in apposition.

1. ____Philip's wife, ____ biggest snob in ____ family, invited me to tea. 2. Then we were joined by ____ two women, ____ acquaintances of Charles and Ann. 3. Across from her sat Delaney, ____ producer of the picture. 4. I said: "This is Mary Summers, ____ old school friend of mine." 5. I have got ____ job of ____ secretary to our new MP. 6. ____ figure 5 is ____ same for ____ Russian or ____ American while ____ word "five" is not. 7. ____ Admiral Lacey was ____ red-faced man. 8. They sat in ____ drawing-room round the portable wireless, ____present from Fleur. 9. Then he walked down Broadway, ____ main street of ____ town. 10. She was ____ daughter of ____ well-known theatrical manager, ____willowy, wispy, fair-haired girl with ____ colourless eyes. 11. He assumed ____ role of ____ breadwinner for ____family. 12. ____ General Holt withdrew his plan. 13. They had lunch at Hexley, ____ small village on ____ coast. 14. He was their favourite nephew, ____ son of their dead elder sister. 15. Grant got little information from Andy, ____ mail-car driver. 16. He introduced me to ____ girl Patricia, and I was glad of an opportunity to look at her face. 17. Peter hit so hard that he broke my arm. I fell to ____ ground yelling. Waters, ____ gym teacher, carried me off ____ field. 18. We spoke to ____ Philip's secretary, ____ youngish man called Williams. 19. Within a short time, Gregory married Zalia Phelps, ____ daugh­ter of Angus Phelps, ____ planter in Georgia. 20. Sam, ____ man who ran ____ elevator, didn't like Peter. 21. Smiley, ____ captain of ____ team, got up on ____ bench and told them of his plan. 22. ____ nurse Everett, ____ bony woman of fifty, herself opened ____door. 23. He would be given ____ post of ____ Minister of Justice.

Exercise 6.

Insert articles.

1. ____ Academician Zhukovsky is called ____ father of Russian aviation. 2. The description of how ____ Uncle Podger tried to hang a picture is one of the funniest episodes in the book. 3. Many famous people were frequent visitors at Abramtsevo, among them ____ writer Gogol, ____poet Shevchenko and ____actor Shchepkin. 4. Once upon a time there lived ____ doctor Aibolit who was a great friend of all animals. 5. ____ captain Barlow was what was called an “old sea dog”. 6. “Who operated on your son?” “____ certain surgeon Kryukov.” 7. ____ brother Peter was the preacher of the community of Stilleveld. 8. They met in Moscow, ____ Russian Oleg, ____ Indian Rudj, ____ Italian Antonio and ____ Negro Joshua. 9. He went downward along the same road along which he had driven when a high-school boy in ____ stripped-down Ford. 10. ____ Queen Mary was launched by ____ Queen Mary in 1938.

Exercise 7.

Fill in the blanks with articles before appositive and pre­dicative nouns wherever necessary.

1. Melanie was ____ fool, but there was nothing anybody could do about it. 2. She was ____ only woman I had ever met who could behave so gracefully. 3. Charlie wasn't ____ fool enough as to put up the back of the Assistant Colonial secretary. 4. Hemingway, ____ son of a small town doctor, was born in Illinois in 1898. 5. Kust, ____bartend­er, gave Bill and Janice a smile of recognition. 6. Tara had risen to riches on cotton, even as the whole South had risen, and Scarlett was ____ Southerner enough to believe that both Tara and the South would rise again out of the red fields. 7. Behind him his cousin, the tall George, ____son of the fifth Forsyte, had a strange look on his fleshy face. 8. "You staying here?" - "New boy in town. I am ____ instructor in the ski school." 9. My first thought that this should be ____ son of Jane Fowler's fiancé proved to be correct. 10. My father was____ mayor of the village and ____honorable man. 11. His laboratory, ____ best institution of this kind, made Cambridge world known in the field of experimental physics. 12. James Clerk Maxwell, ____ great physi­cist and mathematician, was born in Edinburgh, Scot­land, on November 13, 1831. 13. When Mike had seen her, she was ____ girl of eighteen. 14. She dressed like — well, like what she was, ____ wife of the assistant Colonial Secretary at Hong Kong. 15. She didn't know whether he had gone ____ Republican, or ____ Demo­crat. 16. ____ prisoner as he was, Rhett Butler was ____ dangerous man.

Exercise 8.

Translateinto English.

1. Пол Дрейк, голова розшукового агенства Дрейка, сидів у кріслі, очікуючи на Мейсона. 2. Це нещасний випадок, який міг би трапитись будь з ким. 3. „Тоні, - сказав Олівер, - нехай лікар Патерсон скаже те, що хоче сказати”. 4. Роберт Шеннон, маленький сирота - ірландець, жив у родині свого дядька. 5. Еллі була дочкою процвітаючого фермера. 6. Ньютон став членом Королівського товариства, провідного наукового товариства у Великобританії. 7. Бальзак, видатний французький романіст, часто говорив своїм друзям, що може визначити характер будь-кого за його чи її почерком. 8. Я Ентоні Андерсон, людина, яка вам потрібна. 9. Я вважаю, що він отримає свою посаду знов, якщо він справжній чоловік. 10. Одна з моїх читачок прочитала одну з моїх книжок, та написала мені про це. 11. Дівчина, яку він кохав, була Лаура Мертон, дочка полковника. 12. Я був досить дурним для того, щоб запросити її жити сюди. 13. ЇЇ батько, професор Шрон, помер цього року. 14. Леді Рівет була стрункою і добре одягнутою. 15. Вона жінка керуючого готелем. 16. Мій батько був священиком у маленькому церковному приході у Кавінгорусі, невеличкому селищі. 17. О’Доннел був головою хірургічного відділення. 18. Вона була одружена із сером Максом Маллованом, відомим археологом. 19. Катарина була дружиною бідного клерка з Міністерства освіти. 20. „Вони зробили з мене начальника відділом,”- прошепотів Джон.

Exercise 9.

Translate from Ukrainian into English paying attention to the nouns in apposition.

1. Байрон, видатний англійський поет, боровся за волю Греції. 2. Нам дуже сподобався їхній дім - невелика двоповерхова будівля на березі річки. 3. Ківі, тропічний фрукт, багатий на вітамін С. 4. Картина, невелике полотно, коштувала ціле багатство. 5. Мій друг – віце-президент великої компанії. 6. На Різдво тітка Соня та дядько Антон приїдуть до нас. 7. Підлітки-бешкетники часто приходили до нас пограти в теніс. 8. Собака, величезний вівчарка, охороняв наш будинок вночі. 9. Професор Микитенко, декан математичного факультету, був завжди уважний до студентів. 10. Петро Андрієнко – голова нашої фірми. 11. Всі діти люблять Міккі Мауса - знаменитого мультиплікаційного героя. 12. Уолт Дізней, відомий мультиплікатор і продюсер, створив Дізнейленд, величезний парк розваг, який було відкрито у Каліфорнії у 1955 році.

Unit 6

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