Spanish words: La mitad…, medio…, media…

spanish mitad medio

When learning Spanish, understanding what are the differences between “mitad” and “medio” can be a challenge.

Since we use them in a similar way, most people think they are siblings. Nonetheless, today we will get rid of that myth.

So, if you want to get a clearer picture of how to use these two Spanish words, you only have to keep reading this article.

How to use “mitad”

The Spanish word “mitad” is a feminine noun that we frequently use to talk about 50% of something. In other words, you can use “mitad” to refer to two equal parts of a whole.

For example, if you say “Puedes comer solo la mitad de la manzana” = (you can eat only half of the apple), it means that only eating 50% of the whole apple is allowed.

On the other side, you can also use “mitad” as an adverbial. In that case, it will help you modify how someone carries out an action. In Spanish, we typically use the preposition “de” after the word “mitad”.

Let’s look at the examples below:

Solo nos comimos la mitad de la torta y guardaremos la otra mitad para mañana.

We only ate half of the cake and we’ll save the other half for tomorrow.

¿Qué estabas haciendo? ¡Tienes la mitad de la cara cubierta de barro!

What were you doing? Half of your face is covered in mud!

Los centauros son criaturas mitológicas, mitad hombre y mitad caballo.

Centaurs are mythological creatures, half man and half horse.

We often use “mitad” with the article “la” to say “la mitad”. Still, in some situations, we can omit the article. Take, for example, the third sentence shown above.

Also, there are some Spanish expressions like “mitad y mitad” that you might use when talking to friends or coworkers. The expression “mitad y mitad” means that you’ll take the first half, and the other half is for the person you’re talking to.

Let’s look at the sample conversation below:

Samuel: ¿Quieres Piña? / Do you want pineapple?

José: ¡Claro! ¿Mitad y mitad? / Sure! Half and half?

Samuel: Perfecto / Perfect

If you want to use the expression “mitad y mitad” with third-party individuals, you’ll have to add the article “la”.

Let’s see the sentence below:

La mitad para Alfredo y la mitad para Camila.

Half for Alfredo and half for Camila.

This expression might be really helpful if you have kids, and you have to tell them to share their food. See? Another problem was solved.

How to use “medio”

The Spanish word “medio” is an adjective. Consequently, it’ll change depending on the noun’s gender.

If you have a masculine noun, you would use “medio”. If you have a feminine noun, you would use “media”. Spanish speakers use “medio” to refer to a half quantity of something. So, you can use it to talk about time, length, distance, and other things.

Let’s look at the following examples:

Quiero medio kilo de naranjas, por favor.

I would like half a kilogram of oranges, please.

Estamos a medio camino entre las montañas y la playa.

We’re halfway between the mountains and the beach.

Vimos media película y nos quedamos dormidos.

We watched half the movie and we fell asleep.

Hablaron por media hora en el teléfono.

They spoke for half an hour on the phone.

Should I use “medio” or “mitad”?

Deciding what word you should use is simple. In a few words, you can choose the one you like. Yet, you must keep in mind that “mitad” is a noun that you can, sometimes, use as an adverbial.

On the other side, “medio” is an adjective. So, it modifies the subject.

You can use both words to express the same opinion, and if you don’t believe me, just look at the example below:

Quiero la mitad de la sandía.

I want half of the watermelon.

Quiero media sandía.

I want half a watermelon.

As you can see, we are expressing the same idea in both situations.

Another thing you shouldn’t forget is that we typically use the article “la” and the preposition “de” with the word “mitad”. However, it isn’t mandatory in every situation.

Spanish words

Generally speaking, this is all you need to know to use “medio” and “mitad” properly.

If you have any other doubts, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Adding these words to your vocabulary will help you get better at speaking Spanish.

Start practicing now and remember to enjoy your learning process.

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