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Does the "in" imply multiplication, in which case split in half is correct, or is it division? It sounds like the latter to me, but I've heard it used both ways.

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General reference idioms.thefreedictionary.com/split – mplungjan Mar 24 '13 at 8:40
up vote 11 down vote accepted

They are both correct. If the focus is on the fact that I now have two objects, whereas before I had only one, I'd say split in two; if I want to stress that now each object is half the size of the single object I had before, I'd say split in half. In each case, though, the emphasis is so subtle that it would probably escape the conscious perception of the hearer, as indeed, the stress probably was not consciously calculated by the speaker.

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+1 for distinguishing that dividing something into two parts does not mean the parts are equal size, as would be implied by split in half. – Wayne Johnston Mar 25 '13 at 1:03

If the intended meaning is “to divide into two equal portions”, then I would use the verb halve.

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. – Chenmunka Jul 10 '14 at 16:11

It literally means split (break or cause to break forcibly into parts - as shown here) in (how many parts?) half/two. Either of these is grammatically correct.

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