I'll be back in half an hour.
I'll be back in half hour.
Which is the correct sentence? Are there any differences between British English and American English?
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The very same question puzzles me these days. The title should be "half an hour" versus "a half hour" I used to apply the former. I notice it is an issue when I read the entry in electronic dictionary of Longman contemporary English version 5. It offers examples like, 1. half a mile/pound/hour etc half a pound of butter; It’s about half a mile down the road. She drank half a bottle of wine. half a million dollars; 2. a half hour/mile etc You can’t just waltz in a half hour late. It’s about a half mile down the road. a half day excursion to the island; He demanded a half share of the money. Both items belong to entry of half with the meaning of "exactly or about 50% (½) of an amount, time, distance, number etc" The dictionary does not explain the difference. I infer it is the same and both are correct. Maybe the only difference lies in habit or region. For instance, many mention on this page, British people and Americans apply this in different ways.