# "Half of the" vs "half of"

1. Over half of the domestic flights were delayed because of bad weather condition.

2. Over half of domestic flights were delayed because of bad weather condition.

First, Is there any difference b/w the use of "half of" and "half of the"?

Second, does it affect the use of singular/plural if we use "half of domestic flights" instead of "half of the domestic flights"?

• Apr 3, 2015 at 6:47
• Reading your question, I think the title should be "the domestic flights" vs "domestic flights" rather than “Half of the” vs “half of”, because your question is about the article used before domestic flights. The usage of half is not disputed. Apr 3, 2015 at 17:30
• No actually my question is regarding difference b/w "half of" and "half of the". But didn't find a good way how to ask this. Apr 4, 2015 at 5:51

Plurality will not be changed by using "the" since the subject is still "flights".

As to the article, it will actually change the meaning:

Over half of the domestic flights were delayed because of bad weather conditions.

The subject is "flights", and "the" specifies which (subset of) flights we are talking about. "Domestic" also narrows it down further, but without "the" we change the meaning:

Over half of domestic flights were delayed because of bad weather conditions.

Without a definite article, this means (half of) all domestic flights anywhere. Unless you mean that world-wide weather conditions are at play, or you specify "from this airport" you probably don't mean what this sentence says.

Using an article tells us that you are only referring to a specific subset of objects. We may need to infer what that subset is from context. If we are standing in an airport, if we are talking about a specific flight previously, if we are discussing or witnessing the weather in a certain place - we can infer the meaning. Without the article we can only tell that you didn't mean "all flights anywhere" because it's absurd.

Both are equally grammatical, and close enough to identical semantically so as to be interchangeable.

But: "weather conditions" is always written as plural, even though it might describe only one condition. And in your example, the weather conditions might vary, as "domestic flights" (in the US, anyway) depart from a great many cities.

• OK you mean in above sentence it should be "bad weather conditions". I did't notice it I used to consider "weather condition" as a singular and "weather conditions" as a plural. Thank you Apr 3, 2015 at 8:10
• If one say that in "Over half of the domestic flights were delayed because of bad weather conditions." that the use of "conditions" is superfluous we should only use "bad weather". Is it right? Apr 3, 2015 at 8:12