Is it correct not to use the article in the following sentence?

I have rewritten a sentence as follows, and my cousin asked me why I didn’t use any article before administrator/owner/creator/manager.

On the user profile page, I need to add a block showing the groups for which the user is administrator/owner/creator/manager.

I didn’t find a satisfactory explanation, and I am wondering if not using the article is correct English.

Is not using the article before administrator/owner/creator/manager correct/acceptable English?
If the sentence is fine without the article, why is it possible to write it without an article?


According to Randolph Quirk et al.’s book on English grammar, structures like X is Y, where X is a noun describing the noun X are in “a copular relation”. Y here is called a complement.

We put an indefinite article before complements in such structures if Y is not unique: “Mark is a programmer”. However, if the complement names a unique role or task, we may use either a definite or a zero article: “The user is (the) administrator” (that would imply that there’s only one administrator position); “John is (the) captain of the team.”

P.S. Y may be a complement or an appositive noun phrase (“John, (the) captain of the team.”).

Source : Link , Question Author : apaderno , Answer Author : CowperKettle

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