Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is one-half?

  1. Jun 10, 2011 #1
    I was sleeping and I was thinking about this question last night and I cuoldn't sleep at all.

    What is one half?

    at first I thought it meant 1/2, but then I thought "hey, one, half. I said one first and then half later, so it means [tex]1 \frac{1}{2}[/tex]"

    Yeah so could anyone clarify this for me lol?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Usually 1½ is read as "one and a half".

    ½ is usually read as just "half"

    I think ½ to mean one-half sounds redundant.
  4. Jun 10, 2011 #3
    what is one half then?
  5. Jun 10, 2011 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    How many halves is one half?

    1+1/2 is three halves, 1/2 is one half. See, it's easy!
  6. Jun 10, 2011 #5
    No but rock.freak667 stated, we could've just said "half" for 1/2

    but when we say one, it means 1 and then we say half after it 1/2 it sounds like 1 1/2

    One half 1 1/2
  7. Jun 10, 2011 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    If you call 1/2 "half" then "one half" is 1 x 1/2=1/2. The same is true, e.g, for thirds: "two thirds" is 2/3=2 x 1/3
  8. Jun 13, 2011 #7
    It is 0.5.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  9. Jun 13, 2011 #8
    If I said it's 0.4999... I could stir up some excitement :-)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  10. Jun 16, 2011 #9
    What is one-half?

    one-half = 1/2
    one half = 1 1/2
    one-fourth = 1/4
    one fourth = 1 4th
  11. Jun 16, 2011 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I can't believe this thread has lasted through 8 (now 9!) posts. The original post is simply a play on words and has nothing to do with mathematics.
  12. Jun 16, 2011 #11
    Yes, the original post deals with words, but it reminds me of a pet peve regarding how "mixed fractions" are written- say "4 and a half" is writen as 4 1/2
    When evaluated as an expression, there is implied multiplication which the original phrase does not imply.
  13. Jun 17, 2011 #12


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    No, it isn't. Writing algebraic symbols next to each other, such as "xy", is implied multiplication. That is not true of actual numbers written next to each other.

    "29" does not mean "2 times 9".
  14. Jun 17, 2011 #13
    1/2 is 6 of a dozen.
  15. Jun 17, 2011 #14
    I always get confused when someone says they drank a whole half gallon of milk. Is that like drinking a half whole gallon? Is it whole milk or half and half. What's the difference between whole milk and half and half anyway. If you mix a half gallon of half and half and a half gallon of whole, do you get a gallon and a half of half half and half and half whole? What if you have two half brothers? Is that the same as having one brother?
  16. Jun 17, 2011 #15


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Jimmy wins, again.
  17. Jun 17, 2011 #16
    Antiphon's is funnier.
  18. Jun 17, 2011 #17
    Just ask yourself:

  19. Jun 17, 2011 #18
    That's some horrorshow moloko.
  20. Jun 17, 2011 #19
    Glad you didn't ask if it was half empty or full.
  21. Jun 17, 2011 #20


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It looks like it's one-half full to me.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook