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English Grammar Essentials for Pharma Professionals: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

A business meeting in a small company.

As an English communication coach for the pharmaceutical industry, I often hear stories that underscore the importance of precise grammar usage. One such story was shared by a client of mine, Nick, a lead scientist at a reputable pharmaceutical company.

He once announced in a team meeting, "Patients don't have to take the new medication on an empty stomach." This statement led to confusion, as the medication was specifically designed to be taken with food. A simple misuse of a modal verb transformed his critical guidance into potentially harmful advice.

What Nick intended to convey was, "Patients must not take the new medication on an empty stomach." This sentence, accurately using a modal verb, makes it clear that taking the medication with food isn't optional - it's mandatory.

In an industry where words can dramatically influence health outcomes, mastering the nuances of tenses, conditionals, modals, and reported speech is critical.

Let's delve into each of these:

English Tenses for pharma

Correct tense usage establishes the timeframe for the actions being discussed, avoiding misrepresentations of completed studies, current facts, or future actions.


Conditionals allow for the discussion of potential or hypothetical situations. Misusing conditionals, particularly when discussing potential drug effects, can lead to confusion.


As demonstrated by Nick's story, modal verbs can dramatically change a sentence's meaning, as they express ability, possibility, permission, or obligation.

Reported Speech

In a field where accurately relaying information is vital, the correct use of reported speech is fundamental.

Accurate grammar usage not only maintains clarity and credibility in communication but is also crucial to ensuring patient safety.

That's why we've developed a specialized Grammar Course tailored for Clinical Research Professionals. It's a 10-day course designed to strengthen your command over essential English grammar - tenses, conditionals, modals, and reported speech.

Enrolling in this course can help you avoid misunderstandings and ensure your ideas are expressed accurately. In less than two weeks, you could transform your presentations, write more precise reports, and engage more effectively in team discussions.

If you're ready to take your communication skills to the next level, click here to find out more about the course and enroll.


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