Why is there no the before president and captain?
They elected him president.
She was made captain of the team.
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
The ‘Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English’ (LSGSWE) explains it thus:
When a predicative noun phrase names a unique role or job, either a zero article or the is used.
The is not normally found after words like elected (and re-elected) which show that someone has been appointed to an office. The LSGSWE’s own example is ‘Lukman was re-elected OPEC President in June.’ In other cases, however, it’s optional. The LSGSWE’s second example is: ‘Simon Burns is the chairman of the appeal board.’ That could equally well appear as ‘Simon Burns is chairman . . .’