For example, when writing a recipe which should you use?

  1. one and a half cup
  2. one and a half cups
  3. one cup and a half
  4. a cup and a half
  5. a cup and half
  6. three halves of a cup

Also, if you were to use fractions in a sentence, are these two grammatically okay?

  • The stages 3 and 4 lasts a little more than half an hour.
  • The stages 3 and 4 lasts a little more than a half hour.

Please tell me which are correct and wrong. Thank you all in advance!

  • 1
    For the first, 2 and 4 are "correct" (4 is questionable). For the second, neither is okay. The "stages 3 and 4" is singular, so "The stages 3 and 4 last a little longer than a(n) half hour" - use "an" if you do not pronounce the "h" in "half", if you do pronounce the "h" it is "a half hour". – Elliott Frisch Jun 30 '17 at 23:56
  • 1
    Maybe 4 is a bit more informal but it is a very common utterance- not questionable at all. – Jim Jul 1 '17 at 0:06
  • @Jim But is it one cup and an half or one cup and a half. – Elliott Frisch Jul 1 '17 at 0:49
  • 1
    Definitely a half. (I pronounce the ’h’ in half) But I could see a dialect transcribed as “a cup an’ an ’alf.” – Jim Jul 1 '17 at 0:58
  • @ElliottFrisch - books.google.com/ngrams/… – Jim Jul 1 '17 at 1:09

How would I express a fraction?

The specific example you chose, recipes, are a bit idiomatic because they generally use arabic numerals {1 1\2}.

Use of fractions in roman text is a style issue and may change from guide to guide. The key potential difference is hyphenation.

[Using the Chicago Manual of Style]

One-and-a-half cups In this case, one-and-a-half operates as a compound adjective.

Some other examples: three-fourths, thirty percent loss, one hundred twenty-three and thirty-seven cents, I am one and a half, I am one-and-a-half years old

Time has a separate set of rules, but there is also overlap:

{I am three-and-a-half hours away},{I went on a three-hour cruise},{It is three thirty},{It is three twenty-seven},{It is three o'clock},{Four o'clock tea time},{Flight 897 arrives at three thirty},{half-hour ride will start in a half hour},{Both three am and three AM are acceptable, as are three a.m. and three A.M., but it's best to use arabic numerals at that point}.

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