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Subject: A) chaplain
Question: Hello

I have just bought a novel, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

There is a page about Jonathan Swift's life. There, I found a

sentence which I cannot analyze grammatically, no matter how

much I am scratching my head to come up with an answer. The

sentence is:

''At the age of thirty-one, Swift returned to Ireland as chaplain to a

lord justice.''

To me, this sentence is 100% wrong grammatically. It should be:

''At the age of thirty-one, Swift returned to Ireland as A chaplain to

a lord justice.''

Here is my reason: ''chaplain'' cannot be used without an ''A'' in

front of it because it is in singular and an ''A'' is needed in front of


What do you think? Do you agree with me?

Thank you for taking the time to help me.

All the best

Reply: Joining my colleagues in declaring this sentence grammatical for me.

Consider a different example with the same form issue:

"Mary returned to Botswana as Director of Staff to the Prime Minister."

(Do you prefer the capitalization to show the "role" rather than the occupation?)
Reply From: Nancy J. Frishberg      click here to access email
Date: 19-Jul-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: A) chaplain    Steven Schaufele     (19-Jul-2013)
  2. Re: A) chaplain    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (19-Jul-2013)
  3. Re: A) chaplain    Marilyn N Silva     (18-Jul-2013)
  4. Re: A) chaplain    Charley Rowe     (18-Jul-2013)

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