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This is one of the banners that one might have spotted in Minsk, Belarus these days: banner

It says "WARM GREETINGS TO PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA PRANAB MUKHERJEE"

Several non-native speakers had an argument on Facebook about grammatical correctness of the subject and specifically if it's absolutely necessary to put a definite article between "TO" and "PRESIDENT" or not. One of the counterparts claims that the cases that were found on stack exchange (1, 2) are not really applicable to this case as none of them puts "President of (country)" and a name that follows job position into a single sentence, so I'd like to ask about this specific one.

Is this banner OK or "the" is missing?

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    In the style I use, I'd choose WARM GREETINGS TO PRANAB MUKHERJEE, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA. The apposition sounds far more natural than 'President of the United States of America[,] Barack Obama'. 'President Obama' works as a title + name, but 'President of the United States of America Barack Obama' is very awkward. If it is felt necessary to preserve the original word order, apposition (needing the 'THE' and a comma after 'INDIA') is better. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 6 '15 at 22:14
  • It would probably be slightly better with "THE", but the difference is not great. Note that if you just say "WARM GREETINGS TO PRESIDENT PRANAB MUKHERJEE" you should not add "THE". – Hot Licks Jul 7 '15 at 3:40
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The basic question is whether you are saying "Greetings to [honorific][human's name]" or "Greetings to [official title], [human's name]".

You would say "Greetings to the President of the Republic of India", but "Greetings to Pranab Mukherjee".

Combine them one way and you get "Greetings to the President of the Republic of India, Pranab Mukherjee". Combine them the other way and you get "Greetings to President of the Republic of India Pranab Mukherjee", where "President of the Republic of India" is an honorific (just like "Mr." or "General" or whatever).

The banner is correct as it appears, so long as it contains no comma. It might read a hair better the other way (with comma), but protocol may dictate against that.

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I definitely know that India is a republic and that it's absolutely correct to use 'The republic of India'. You can omit 'the republic of' if you wish to. I think it would have been better if they'd printed this:

WARM GREETINGS TO THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, PRANAB MUKHERJEE

                                   or

WARM GREETINGS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC INDIA, PRANAB MUKHERJEE.

The first one sounds better because there is no repetition of 'the'. The second one is correct but it doesn't sound as good as the first one.

I did a little research on this and found that you need to use the to refer to people or objects that are unique(though people tend to omit it very often)

EXAMPLES

The sun rose at 6:17 this morning.

You can go anywhere in the world.

Clouds drifted across the sky.

The president will be speaking on TV tonight.

The CEO of Total is coming to our meeting.

Source: edufind.com

  • I was just trying to answer the OP's question, sir. I do not expect the natives of Belarus to know the details of the usage of 'the' in this particular context. I was just trying to support the content of my answer by citing a source. – Aishwarya A R Jun 7 '15 at 10:50

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