Submitted by Dyske on January 19, 2004

The Flu and a Cold

Why does “flu” get “the”, while “cold” gets “a”? It appears that you never say “a flu”.

Here is a good example.

Comments

Sort by

jeremiah.
Then why don't you say, "the Influenza"?
Also, Influenza is also a goup of diseases.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Ah, but why do you have "the" disease at all? You don't get a cholera or the cholera. Just cholera.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

"The Flu" refers to a specific disease, which is Influenza.

"A Cold" refers to one of a group of diseases which cause coughing, runny noses, etc. They are all "colds"; if you have one, you don't have "the cold" (the one and only Cold) you just have "a cold".

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Your Comment