Half <of> his money/the population/(the) noun/the apple/the money

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Wookie, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Wookie

    Wookie Senior Member

    Korea, Korean
    His wife is going to take half his money.
    His wife is going to take half of his money.

    I want to know if I can use "of" in the sentence like that.
    Also I want to know whether it would be appropriate if you say "His wife is going to take the half / the half of his money.

    Using proper preposition and the article confuses me!
  2. OldMike Senior Member

    USA, English
    The correct one is "His wife is going to take half of his money".
  3. Moon Palace

    Moon Palace Senior Member

    Hello everyone,
    I remember learning - and I still teach so - that after 'half' there is usually no preposition before a figure (contrary to the French usage): 'half the American population', 'half the apple'...

    And I have just come across this example in the Economist, and I would like to know whether it is commonplace or if it is hardly ever used this way.

    Nearly half of Republicans think the environment is in good shape; only 9% of Democrats agree.

    Thanks for your help.
  4. The Scrivener Banned

    On the "naughty step".
    England. English
    Hi Moon Palace,

    I don't speak AE, but in BE this is commonplace.
  5. Driven

    Driven Senior Member

    It is common in America too!
  6. Moon Palace

    Moon Palace Senior Member

    Thanks to the two of you :), this is when I feel I still know so little of the ocean language is. :(
  7. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    High MP,

    Common AE-

    Half [no preposition] the noun
    Half of [no definite article] noun

    Half the goose milk production is used to make fine cheese.
    Half/50% of mugwumps oppose the policy.

    It gets more varied and complicated when adjectives are introduced. Let's leave that for another thread.
  8. Clairette pillina New Member

    France French
    I would like to know when "of", which usually follows the noun "half", can be removed.
  9. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Canberra, Australia
    English - Australia
    In just about every situation I can think of, to be honest...

    Give me half of your dinner => give me half your dinner.
    He's only in class half of the time => he's only in class half the time.

    But of course, there are situations where you can't (usually) have of at all:

    I'll meet you there in half an hour.

    I hope I'm not missing any major points - it's a pretty broad question.

    P.S. J'ai presque répondu en français, ayant oublié que c'était English Only ici. :D
    P.P.S. Welcome to the forum. :)
  10. Clairette pillina New Member

    France French
    Thank you for welcoming me!
    You speak French, don't you?
    As I read your answer, I guess I did'nt ask the good way. What are the situations in which can't put "of"? Or are there situations in which we can't remove "of" from "half"?
  11. Akasaka Senior Member

    Hello everyone,

    Suppose you bought an apple and brought it home. You cut it by halves. One is good. But the other half is not. What are you most likely to say?

    Half the apple is bad.
    Half of the apple is bad.

    I presume both are correct. I'm wondering how to use them.

    Thanks in advance.
  12. I'd tend to say "Half the apple...". But as you say, both are correct. I think it's a matter of personal choice and style.
  13. Akasaka Senior Member

    Hello Kevin Beach. So either one can be chosen. I thought there was a subtle difference.
  14. KellyEm New Member

    I will use "half of the apple".
  15. Monkey F B I Senior Member

    Acton, MA
    English - USA
    I believe one of them is actually wrong, but I have no idea which one.

    I'd use "half of the apple" in writing, but I might leave the "of" out while speaking.
  16. KenInPDX Senior Member

    Portland, Oregon
    US English
    I think either is OK, and I don't think there is any subtle difference in meaning.
  17. Feuer Krieger Member

    Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
    Portuguese - Brazil
    Hello, fellows

    I have a doubt about how to say a fraction of something. For example:

    "Margareth ate half (of) the pizza."
    "Tonny stole two-thirds (of) the money."

    Should I use or not the 'of' in these kind of sentences?

    Thank you.
  18. Tazzler Senior Member

    American English
    You can say "half the pizza" or "half of the pizza." You have to say "two-thirds of the money."
  19. You can also say and write "Half the money"

    In other words, all fractions except "half" require "of". With "half" is is optional.
  20. ironman2012 Senior Member

    So I should say "half the pizza" or "half of pizza", but
    So are "half the pizza", "half of pizza" and "half of the pizza" all correct?
  21. "Half of pizza" is wrong.

    "Half of the pizza" and "Half the pizza" are both correct.

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