I read this sentence:

He was half again taller than the merchant.

I have checked from the dictionary. The phrase given there is "half again as much/ many"

Then why in the above sentence the the words "as much/many" omitted by the writer?

Does it means that this phrase can be used as "half again (comparative adjective)" Like

My brother was half again angrier than me.

Or is it only used for some sort of physical quantity like length, height ,weight, age, price etc?

  • 1
    That sentence doesn't sound at all idiomatic to me (British English speaker). I would have said "He was half as tall again as the merchant". Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 11:33
  • The story has been by an American author so maybe it's different because of that.
    – Learner
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 9:14

1 Answer 1


The term "half again..." means "1.5 times...." and it does not require "...as much/many." Those would only be used when referring to a quantity, like "this jar holds half again as many gumballs as the other jar." But you can certainly use it to compare other things like height, length, mass, etc, etc.

It doesn't make sense to use it with an emotion or some other non-quantifiable quality. Just as you wouldn't say "he was 1.5 times as angry as I was," you also can't say "he was half again as angry as I was." It doesn't work that way.

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