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

  • ghotioutofh2o

    Senior Member
    American English
    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.


    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.


    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.


    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'
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