Is the following sentence correct? “They spent 45 minutes with Chief Minister.”

No, it is not. You need to say, “They spent 45 minutes with the Chief Minister.” When there are no names following titles like “President”, “Chief Minister” and “Pope”, the definite article “the” is used. For example, we say, “The Chief Minister was in hospital,” and “The President was late for the meeting.”

If the name of the individual is included after the title, then the article is dropped. “The delegation met Chief Minister Jayalalithaa,” and “President Bush was proud of his victory.”

The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, November 15, 2004

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