3

Also, Niko texted that he will be absent today because he has a flu.

which one is correct ? has a flu or had a flu? also i have search about the flu and flu is different thing.

8

I would say:

Also, Niko texted that he will be absent today because he has the flu.

the is used specifically with flu. flu is a general term used for influenza and sometimes other common illnesses.

If you use influenza, no article is used. I suppose that is because it is a specific disease name:

Also, Niko texted that he will be absent today because he has influenza.

  • In British English "the flu" sounds a little old-fashioned. The sort of thing an earlier generation might say. Modern usage would be "Niko texted that he would be absent today because he has flu" - that is without an article. – Francis Davey Sep 1 '14 at 18:33
  • 1
    @FrancisDavey Could be. My answer would be according to AmE. – user3169 Sep 1 '14 at 19:02
7

Regardless of the a/the issue which user3169 has answered, had is past tense, while has is present tense.

"Niko cannot come to work today as he has a cold."

"Niko cannot come to work today as he has the flu."

"Niko could not come to work yesterday as he had a cold."

"Niko could not come to work yesterday as he had the flu."

  • Yes, but today is the present. Unless Niko has suddenly recovered from the flu between the time he needed to start making his way to class and now, he still has the flu. – David K Sep 1 '14 at 15:45
  • @DavidK: Your comment doesn't seem to disagree with the post though the tone suggests it does. Am I misreading or are you? – Chris Sep 1 '14 at 15:49
  • I'm reading this answer as if it is saying which verb form to use in the OP's sentence. (I think OP used "has" correctly.) If that's not what this answer is about, then my comment is irrelevant. – David K Sep 1 '14 at 17:16
3

Use "has a flu" or "has the flu" if he is sick right now, and use "had a flu" or "had the flu" if he was sick earlier but now he is not sick.

You can also say "he caught the flu" to mean that he became sick earlier (and is still sick now).

  • Never "a flu": always "the". (He has the flu, she has a cold, they have bronchitis. Unfortunately, there's no pattern that I can tell so you just have to learn which diseases take which article and which take none.) – David Richerby Sep 1 '14 at 17:51
  • As a twenty-something native speaker, I never noticed that people never say "a flu". – Tanner Swett Sep 2 '14 at 15:02
1

The original question contains reported speech ("Niko texted that"). In reported speech, you have to change the tense (present becomes past, simple past becomes past perfect, etc). Scott's and Tanner Swett's answer did not consider this. Because of the backshift, 'will be' normally becomes 'would be'.

There are cases when backshift is optional:

  • If a situation is still true, backshift is optional.
  • For a general truth there is no need for backshift.

Therefore I would say (if Niko is still ill):

"Also, Niko texted that he will be absent today because he has the flu."

Edit: according to the above rule, the will->would backshift is optional here, too.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.