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Hi, M.T./Apple,

When a common noun is followed by a proper name, it becomes a title and does not take article "a."

I met a doctor / I met doctor Smith.

The lecture was given by a famous professor / The lecture was given by famous professor Charles Johnson.

The children were born to a Thai woman in December... / The children were born to Thai woman Pattaramon Chanbua in December...

You can only use an article if the phrase can be restated as "a person under the name of or claiming to be..."

Example:
A doctor Smith (= a person who introduced himself as doctor Smith) came yesterday and said he needed you urgently.
I once met a professor Charles Johnson but I don't know if we are speaking about the same person.

You can also use an article if the common noun is followed by a relative clause (abridged or not) containing the name:The children were born to a Thai woman called Pattaramon Chanbua...
Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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