Is one-half considered a group noun, which would take the singular form of the verb?
1. "I'll cut the apple in half; one half is for you, the other for me."
2. "My half of the apple has fallen to the floor."
3. "Only one half of the members were present at the meeting."
4. "Half the members were present."
5. "Half of the children in this school study chemistry, (the other) half study Spanish."

In sentences 3; 4 and 5, applying the "rule of proximity" seems to be the right option. Someone posted a similar question here a few days ago. According to that rule, you have the verb agree with "members" in #3 and #4, and with "children" in #5. This seems to be widely accepted.

"One half" does not take a hyphen in any of the above examples.
Thanks! I'm using GPO, which calls for a hyphen.
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Strange! ~laughs~
That's the only thing I can say. I still don't like the idea of using a hyphen.

Which one is correct?

- Give me 1.5 dollar OR dollars.
- Give me 0.5 dollar OR dollars.

And why is "Only one half of the members were..." correct not "Only one half of the members was..." because one half is singular?


I consider all of the options to be incorrect because they wouldn't normally be spoken or written that way.

You can say these:

Give me a dollar fifty.
Give me me one dollar and fifty cents.
Give me a dollar and a half.
Written: Give me $1.50.

Give me half a dollar
Give me fifty cents.
Written: $0.50

You can use a decimal to refer to parts of millions or billions of dollars, for example:

- one point five million dollars (1.5 million dollars)
- zero point five million dollars (0.5 million dollars )
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Both are dollars - 'give me 0.5 / 1.5 dollars' (sounds like a mugging!). This is because they're multiples of a dollar, even if it's a multiple of 0.5. However, you could say 'give me half a dollar'.

Also, it's 'one half of the members were' because the 'one half' is still referring to more than one person. It would only be 'was' if the total number of members was two, because then the 'one half' would refer to the singular person.
NoddypobBoth are dollars - 'give me 0.5 / 1.5 dollars' (sounds like a mugging!).
You must have some mighty strange sounding muggers over there. Emotion: big smile But I agree that if somebody used the decimal this way in spoken or written English (i.e. "Give me zero/one point five dollars."), it would have to be 'dollars' in both cases.

Sorry that I overlooked your second question, ohn.