Take 1 tablet after lunch and supper

Discussion in 'English Only' started by NickJunior, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. NickJunior Senior Member

    Amérique du Nord
    Cambodgien
    Hi,
    Here are the dosage directions that I was asked to explain:

    "Take 2 tablets before breakfast, 1 tablet after lunch and supper, and 2 tablets at bedtime." Am I correct to understand the message as:

    (1) Before breakfast, a patient needs to take 2 tablets.

    (2) Then after the patient finishes lunch and dinner, the patient needs to take 1 more tablet.

    (3) Before going to bed, the patient needs to take 2 more tablets.

    Am I correct, please confirm. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Michel09

    Michel09 Senior Member

    New York, NY
    français - France
    This is correct.
     
  3. NickJunior Senior Member

    Amérique du Nord
    Cambodgien
    Oh Thank you Michel09. However, another person understood the part "1 tablet after lunch and supper" to mean 1 tablet after lunch and another 1 tablet after supper. Is the person correct?
     
  4. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    That is how I would understand it, but if these are really instructions for taking medicine, they are poorly written, in my opinion. I would have made it more explicit:
    "Take 2 tablets before breakfast, 1 tablet after lunch, 1 after supper, and 2 tablets at bedtime."
     
  5. NickJunior Senior Member

    Amérique du Nord
    Cambodgien
    Thank you for offering your suggestion, Nunty. So do I go with you or Michel09. Now I am not so sure. So "1 tablet after lunch and supper" means TWO tablets? I am always confused when the writer intends to apply their term "distributively". I understand it in mathematical expression better, 2(x+y) = 2x + 2y.
     
  6. Nico11 Junior Member

    English
    NickJunior, I believe Michel thought that you meant 1 after lunch and 1 after dinner.

    I agree with Nunty. They want you to take it often. Like Nunty said, it is written very poorly.
     
  7. Michel09

    Michel09 Senior Member

    New York, NY
    français - France
    Yes, I did read it and assume that the directions required taking it after lunch and also after dinner. And, I must also agree, the directions are poorly written. For a native English speaker, they would be probably understood. However, as said, they are overall pretty poorly written. :)
     
  8. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    As you say, NickJunior, the original text is ambiguous. However, because lunch and supper are meals eaten at very different times, it would be odd to say "one tablet after lunch and supper" if you did not mean one after each meal.

    My understanding is that the patient has to take four tablets a day: one after each meal and one before bed. If he is to take three tablets a day, I don't understand why it would be necessary to mention both lunch and supper.

    EDIT: Cool. :) I think we all agree.
     
  9. Nico11 Junior Member

    English
    Correct, in the modern sense they're seen as interchangeable.
     
  10. NickJunior Senior Member

    Amérique du Nord
    Cambodgien
    Thank you everyone for helping me understand the correct meaning of the directions. By the way, yes the directions were written legibly on a prescription by a PA.
     
  11. Harry Batt

    Harry Batt Senior Member

    Minneapolis
    USA English
    Nick Where did you get the context for these directions? It might explain who wrote them and whether to group lunch and supper together as a single occassion.
     
  12. NickJunior Senior Member

    Amérique du Nord
    Cambodgien
    Hi Harry, a relative of mine asked me to take a look at her prescription and tell her the dosages. She told me that the PA of her doctor wrote out the orders. Surprisingly, the orders were neatly written, not a typical doctor's scribble.
     
  13. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Since this is a real situation involving medicine and not just a language question (although it is a good language question), I strongly urge you, NickJunior, to call the PA (physician's assistant) for clarification of these ambiguous instructions. (That's the ex-nurse in me talking.)
     

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