half (of)

  • We can use half or half of before a noun.
      Half (of) my friends live abroad.
      She spends half (of) her time travelling.
      Of is not used in expressions of measurement and quantity.
      I live half a mile from here. (NOT . . . half of a mile …)
      How much is half a bottle of whisky?
      (NOT … half of a bottle . . .)
      We use half of before pronouns.
      ‘Did you like the books?’ ‘I’ve only read half of them ‘
      Half of us are free on Tuesdays, and the other half on Thursdays.
  • We only use the with half if we are saying which half we mean. Compare:
      I’ve bought some chocolate. You can have half.
      (NOT . . . the half.)
      You can have the big half.
  • One and a half is plural.
      I’ve been waiting for one and a half hours. (NOT . . . hour)