# Half of a billion or Half-of-a-billion?

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#### Andyking

##### New Member
What would be the most formal way of writing this in an academic textbook?

Half of a billion or Half-of-a-billion?

• #### ghotioutofh2o

##### Senior Member
I'd use 500 million.

Otherwise, if you're set on using billion, while not very formal I don't think, I'd use "half a billion" or "a half billion." More context is needed to decide which.

#### Andyking

##### New Member
We get students to write the words in their standard form:
Thirty-five thousand, eight hundred twenty-five
which is: 35,825
Similarly Half-of-a-million which is 500,000.
We were not sure if we should have hyphens in between those words.

#### JamesM

##### Senior Member
As ghotioutofh2o said, you shouldn't have "of". It is "Half a million" or "a half million", with no hyphens. I would be more likely to write "five hundred thousand". "Half a million" is really an interpretation of 500,000, not actually the representation of the number in front of you in words.

#### sandpiperlily

##### Senior Member
Generally, I was taught to spell out the numbers one through ten, and just use numerals for any number higher than 11. So 500,000,000 or 500 million would be half a billion.

#### Andyking

##### New Member
mmm another academician here states that using the words without 'of' (half a billion instead of half of a billion) makes it a slang. Is that so?
So now I have two questions:
1) should we use a hyphen
2) should we use the 'of'

#### JamesM

##### Senior Member
No, it is not slang.
No, you shouldn't use hyphens.
No, you shouldn't use "of".

:^)

#### Andyking

##### New Member
Awesome James! I will take your word for it!
Thanks

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