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Thread: take medicine

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    #1

    take medicine

    This is about external medicine.
    I know native speakers say "apply external medicine" and "use external medicine".
    How about "take external medicine"? Is "take" used only for internal medicine?
    Thank you.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: take medicine

    Can you be more clear? Do you mean something like applying an anti-bacterial cream to a cut or scrape?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: take medicine

    Take in this case would almost certainly imply to ingest.

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    #4

    Re: take medicine

    You "take" medicines if you eat, drink or swallow them.
    You "apply" medicines if they go onto your skin (topical application).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: take medicine

    Thank you all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Can you be more clear? Do you mean something like applying an anti-bacterial cream to a cut or scrape?
    I meant all kind of external medicines, which you don't ingest. For example, ointment, cream, poultice, mouthwash, eye-drops, and suppository.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: take medicine

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkie9 View Post
    Thank you all.


    I meant all kind of external medicines, which you don't ingest. For example, ointment, cream, poultice, mouthwash, eye-drops, and suppository.
    With those medicines, we have a warning that says "for external use only".

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    #7

    Re: take medicine

    Don't use "take" with any of those. Stick with "apply" for things that go on the skin, and "use" for things like mouthwash and eye drops.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8
    To complicate matters "internal medicine" in AmE is a specialty in the field of medicine. Specialist in AmE medical usage is the same as Consultant in BrE.

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    #9

    Re: take medicine

    You're not going to get much help from a suppository if you use it externally or apply it. You need to insert it into the relevant orifice.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 07-Jul-2013 at 15:22.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: take medicine

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    To complicate matters "internal medicine" in AmE is a specialty in the field of medicine. Specialist in AmE medical usage is the same as Consultant in BrE.
    Yes, but internal medicine has nothing to do with taking internal medicines as opposed to external medications.

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