The original text I read "More than half of what he said sounded like a foreign lanugage."

I can't help but think that the sentence without 'of' is possible, too;

"More than half what he said sounded like a foreign lanugage."

Is there any difference? Or Is the first one is the only right one?

I'd appreciate your help.

  • 1
    I believe this question is off topic here. It is well suited to English Language Learners, if a Mod would be so kind as to migrate it.
    – gotube
    May 3, 2023 at 3:59
  • Why do you think that "of" can be omitted? Saying "I can't help but think" isn't really a reason. Please explain. (You should also cite the source of the quoted text. I know that this question was migrated, but these things are expected on ELL.) May 26, 2023 at 2:51
  • You need the "of" here in standard English. It might be acceptable to drop it in some regional dialects or in informal speech - it would still be understood.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 26, 2023 at 9:25
  • “What do you want on the pizza?” “Half mushroom …” “And half what?” Mar 13 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


It's not a strict rule, but we tend to refer to quantities without the 'of'. For example, "I drank half a pint of milk" describes the quantity of milk you drank. "Half a pint" is an accepted measure. You could say "I drank half of a pint of milk", but it sounds like you attempted to drink a pint and only managed half of it.

Closer to your example - imagine you are at lunch with a friend, and his meal arrives. If you said "I want half what he has", that could mean you want the same meal, but a portion only half the size. If you said "I want half of what he has", that sounds like you want to eat half of his meal.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .