And a half

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Is it used somewhere in the English speaking community ¨an a half¨ to express time?

For instance... SEE YOU AT NINE AND A HALF or WHAT THE TIME IS IT? ... IT´S ELEVEN AND A HALF ?.

asked Jun 17 '13 at 09:23 AUGUSTO New member

4 answers


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The usual expression is of course half past nine (or nine-thirty) but in other languages, French and Spanish for example, they say the equivalent of "nine and a half".   I think I have heard it said  by people in a bilingual community such as Gibraltarians, francophone Canadians or Anglo-Argentines, but I cannot remember which.

link comment edited Jun 17 '13 at 10:49 Michael Cranfield Expert
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I agree with Michael; some of my Japanese students who have studied in the U.K. say "half nine" instead of "nine-thirty".  I wonder if that is acceptable in the UK, or whether they were just poor students?

link answered Jun 17 '13 at 12:17 Shawn Mooney Expert

Yes, Shaun, "half nine" is very often heard in Britain.

Michael CranfieldJun 17 '13 at 13:48

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A good expression is half past nine, and 9:30 can also be used 

Nine and a half is wrong , and can be very wrong to careful users.

link comment answered Jun 17 '13 at 16:52 subbu New member
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This is an excellent example of the great variations found in the English language.

 

"Half nine" is a usage I'd never heard before (here in California). Garner's Modern American Usage is silent on the topic in its most recent edition. If Shawn and Michael hadn't vouched for its use, I would have said "what?"

 

But it does make sense. Like the Indian English "longcut", only time will tell whether the usage is adopted into the mainstream.

link comment answered Jun 18 '13 at 02:32 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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