I have a question about "run for presidency"/"run for the presidency"

(in this case, it's about a presidential election)

  • He will run for the presidency.
  • He will run for presidency.

I am not sure if the definite article 'the' is necessary. I've found that both are used in news articles but I am not sure what is the difference between them.

Please let me know what is correct and if both are correct, then please explain what the difference between the two sentences is.

  • 1
    Use the. If people are saying run for presidency, they're probably either foreigners or they're trying to save space in newspaper headlines. (In newspaper headlines, you're allowed to drop "the" and make some other not-usually-grammatical alternations to save space.) Aug 25, 2022 at 19:19
  • The anarthrous (no 'the') version is certainly used, though it is less common than the articled version (see Google ngrams). Perhaps for that reason, it can sound punchier. The missing article here is not the zero article (highly indefinite) but the null article (very definite) (after Master). Sep 24, 2022 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


Oftentimes, using "the" in front of a noun denotes the speaker referring to a particular, non-replaceable instance of an object; for example, when you and I point to "the car" in front of us, we denote only the car in front of us, and not the one speeding along a highway 50 km away from us.

However, the phrase "to run for presidency" does not denote a particular term of presidency; to say somebody wanted to run for presidency could mean they wanted to run for the 2022 presidency, the 2024 presidency, the 2025 presidency... etc. Therefore, if the two phrases you provided were to be used standalone, then "to run for presidency" would be the grammatically correct version; despite that, the phrase "to run for the 2024 presidency" is completely correct, due to there only being one 2024 presidency attainable.

(Also assumed in this answer is that the scope of the presidency is limited to one country's presidency. Otherwise, "the 2024 presidency" could point to many presidencies spanning many countries all occurring in the same year - in this case, 2024.)

  • 3
    This is not how my dialect of English works. Presidency (without the article) means the abstract concept of presidency, and that's not something you run for. Weak confirmation from Google Ngrams. Aug 25, 2022 at 19:15
  • 2
    I'm with Peter Shor. One runs for the presidency, and the year in which one runs is not grammatically relevant. I suggest Whiffer's "to run for presidency" should have been "to run for president"… Aug 30, 2022 at 21:21
  • 'He is running for p/Presidency' and indeed 'He is running for p/President' are indeed used by more than a few. Sep 24, 2022 at 15:20

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