Watch your language: Troublesome Triads in Medical Writing

3 min read
First Published: 
Jun 2006

Key Learnings contained in this article:

Singular mistakes

A company is singular, not plural.

  • Rx Communications is pleased to offer its services.

The same for teams and groups:

  • The team is working hard.


  • Team members are working on the new project.

Little words

That or which – a little grammar

Relative clauses modify the preceding noun. They can be restrictive or non-restrictive.

‘That’ and ‘which’ are relative pronouns.

Use ‘that’ for a restrictive clause – a clause that identifies what or who is being referred to by the preceding noun or pronoun:

  • The bicycle that won the race was stolen.

…without the phrase ‘that won the race’ we don’t know which bike was stolen.

Use ‘which’ for a non-restrictive clause – a clause that adds more information about the preceding noun or pronoun, but is not essential to its identification:

  • The winning bicycle, which was green, was made in Germany.

…without the phrase ‘which was green’ we still know which bike was made in Germany.

Its and it’s

Everyone knows this one, but it’s a common error, often arising when typing in a hurry.

its – possessive form of it

  • The cat licked its paws.

it’s – shortened form of ‘it is’

  • It’s raining again

or ‘it has’

  • It’s disappeared.

We'll deliver straight to your inbox

We take your privacy very seriously and will never share your details with other parties.
You're subscribed! We'll send you a welcome email shortly, keep an eye out and if you don't find it perhaps check the (sometimes over-zealous) spam folder.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Ruth Whittington
CEO of Rx Values Group Ltd
MSc(hons), NZSRN
Share this post

Discover the Power of Communication with Rx

Embark on your medcomms journey with Rx today and experience the difference of working with a world-class medical communications agency.

Child playing in autumn leaves
Copyright Rx Communications Ltd