Is it proper to say, "he will be absent because of sickness?"

It sounds strange to me and I cannot find the answer.

  • 1
    Using "because" this way is perfectly proper, it's what follows that seem odd to me. I would prefer "because he's sick." Using "sickness" here makes it sound like a name. Or consider using "due to" instead of "because". – Aurast Dec 11 '15 at 21:53
  • The example sentence that came to me, somewhat amusingly, is "He will be absent because of a prior commitment." :-) – Brian Tung Dec 12 '15 at 0:53

In your example, the strangeness has nothing to do with tense but is present because of the formulation

because of sickness

More natural alternatives:

due to sickness

because he's sick

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