I was watching a show. There were two ghostbusters. So a priest was calling out to a soul. There were vials of different potions all around and there was a raised platform too. The priest said:

You can't leave in the middle of it.

You can't leave halfway through it.

What sounds more natural? If neither of them sounds natural, then what will sound natural?

  • Is the priest talking to the soul, or to one of the ghostbusters? Are they trying to bust the priest? Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 18:49
  • @WeatherVane the priest cis talking to one of the ghostbusters. And no they aren't trying to bust the priest..... Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 4:45
  • An "exorcist" is something very different from a "ghostbuster."
    – choster
    Commented Jul 14, 2019 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


Depends on the context and what "it" is.

  1. You can't leave (the house) in the middle of the thunderstorm - Yes
  2. You can't leave in the middle of the discussion/conversation - Yes
  3. You can't leave halfway through the thunderstorm - Does not sound natural to me. Others might disagree though.
  4. You can't just walk out mid conversation - Yes

I personally think that you could use "halfway through" when you have a decent idea of the length of what is going on (discussion, conversation, meeting, game, etc.) "Middle" is more general and can surely work for most cases. Not "halfway through the argument' since it is difficult to really say how long you will argue.

  • And: "Why did you leave in the middle of the ceremony?" Or "Why did you leave the ceremony early"? (I guess two of them have slightly different meanings.... Am I right?) Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 6:34
  • "Two boaters missing mid-storm", "Look at these early- and mid-storm photos of the same hemisphere of Mars"- Google. Sure, there are instances where you can use "mid", again depends on the context. As for the ceremony comment, yes two of them have different meanings. In the first, you left halfway through it (an event which can be measured), and in the second, you left early (but how early is early?). To some people early could be beyond the half of an event. :)
    – AIQ
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 6:42
  • Hi sorry for another question, but does "leave" sound fine here instead of "stop reading"? "I left the book in the middle of it/halfway through". Or should it only be "stop reading"? Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 15:35
  • What about: "Let's just leave this chapter". Or "Let's leave this question." (This is supposed to mean "skip": skip a chapter, skip a question.) Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 15:37
  • In retrospect, knowing how long the storm lasted, there would be no problem saying "halfway through it". But mid, as others have pointed out, is broader, and could mean anytime during the storm's full strength; i.e., after the beginning, but before end. So while you're in mid-storm, you can't know you're halfway through it.
    – CCTO
    Commented May 12, 2021 at 4:03

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