Lv 5
San asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

A half or half a?

A. We waited for an hour and a half.

B. We waited for half an hour.

Why do we say "a half" in sentence A but "half an" in sentence B? Thanks!

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    "an hour and a half" =  90 minutes.  "an hour..."= 60 minutes, "...and a half"= +30 minutes. It's 90 minutes.

    "half an hour" = half OF an hour= 30 minutes.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Half an hour is perhaps a shortening of "half of an hour".  Some shortcuts don't translate well. 

    If you asked Britons what time it was, they might say "half seven".  We would not say that in the USA.  

    I'm not sure whether it means 6:30 or 7:30.

  • 2 months ago

    We waited for an hour.

    We waited for half an hour.

    We waited for an hour and a half.

    We waited for two and a half hours. (Not "two hours and a half".)

  • martin
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    A is more than half an hour.  B is only a half hour.  Both sentences are OK.

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  • 2 months ago

    An hour, and a half is 90 minutes: a full hour, plus half of another one.

    A half hour is 30 minutes - half of a full hour.

  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    because of the sound after the word "a"

    In phrase A, it's followed by the consonant H

    In phrase B, it's s followed by a vowel-sound, as the H there is silent

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