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Media vs mitad

How do you say “half” in Spanish? Let’s explore some Spanish nouns that mean “half”, “middle”, and “average”, as well as various other descriptions of amounts and parts.

Full Podcast Episode


Quiero el resto de esos.

Intro: Join us on a rigorous, step-by-step journey to fluency. I’m Timothy and this is LearnCraft Spanish.

Today we’re going to learn a few abstract nouns that refer to amounts or parts of something, such as “half”, “average”, and “length”.

Let’s start with the word for “rest”, which is resto. This specifically refers to the remainder of a quantity of something. So for example:

What did you do with the rest of the water?

¿Qué hiciste con el resto del agua?

And now let’s revisit the word largo, which we’ve already learned as an adjective to mean “long”. For example:

This thing is too long for me.

Esta cosa es muy larga para mí.

So as an adjective, largo changes based on the gender of the thing it’s describing. But largo is also a masculine noun to mean “length”. For example:

Can you tell me the length of your bed?

¿Puedes decirme el largo de tu cama?

Let’s practice resto and largo.

I have twenty and you have the rest.

Tengo veinte y tú tienes el resto.

If we get there, we’ll see the length of the place.

Si llegamos ahí, veremos el largo del lugar.

I want the rest of those.

Quiero el resto de esos.

The length of this street is better than the rest.

El largo de esta calle es mejor que el resto.

When he gets home we’ll talk about the rest of the movie.

Cuando él llegue a casa hablaremos del resto de la película.

Now let’s learn a few words that refer to things related to the middle or half of something. The word for “half” is mitad. This is a feminine noun. So for example:

That's only half of what he wants.

Eso es sólo la mitad de lo que quiere.

Note that in Spanish we’re saying la mitad, literally “the half”, even though in English we tend to leave off the article. Try it yourself in this next example:

She gave me half of her things.

Ella me dio la mitad de sus cosas.

Our next word is media, which actually means quite a few different things in Spanish. We’ll start with the most formal meaning, which is “average”. So for example:

The average of all these numbers is seventeen.

La media de todos estos números es diecisiete.

But it’s also used to refer to clock times, where it specifically indicates that the time is half-past an hour. You’d specifically use it like this:

It’s eleven thirty.

Son las once y media.

So literally “they are eleven and media.” Here media really has no literal translation into English except as something like “half past”.

Let’s practice using la mitad to mean “half” and media to mean both “average” and “half past”.

The average this week was nineteen.

La media esta semana fue diecinueve.

I only want half of your food.

Solo quiero la mitad de tu comida.

It’s three thirty.

Son las tres y media.

Half of sixteen is eight.

La mitad de dieciséis son ocho.

I’m looking for the average of these numbers.

Busco la media de estos números.

I’ll see you at seven thirty.

Nos vemos a las siete y media.

All right, we have just two words left to learn, and they’re both related to words you already know. The first one is baja, which means something like “drop” or “loss”, or even a “casualty”. As you can probably tell, this is related to the word bajo, which can mean “under” or “short” or “low”. As a noun, here’s one way that baja can be used:

There were a lot of losses this year.

Hubo muchas bajas este año.

After last week’s drop, we haven’t had any more.

Después de la baja de la semana pasada, no hemos tenido más.

There were very few casualties.

Hubo muy pocas bajas.

Our last word is el orden, a masculine noun that means “order”. This is a surprising word, because we’ve already learned the feminine noun la orden to mean “the order”, as in a command to do something. But this masculine noun is a different word, and it means “order” in terms of how things are arranged. For example:

I don’t know the order of these numbers.

No sé el orden de estos números.

This noun is involved in the idiom en orden, which means “in order”, just like in English. For example:

I’m going to put these things in order.

Voy a poner estas cosas en orden.

Let’s practice baja and orden. I’m also going to throw in one or two uses of la orden so that you can practice choosing between the two translations of “order”.

We arrived in order, because we weren’t looking for anything.

Llegamos en orden porque no estábamos buscando nada.

The order he gave was the reason for the drop.

La orden que dio fue la razón de la baja.

The order isn’t important for him, he is sixteen.

El orden no es importante para él, tiene dieciséis años.

The drop is because of the order of the numbers.

La baja es por el orden de los números.

For more practice with any of this, feel free to dig deeper at LCSPodcast.com/154. Or if you’re ready, let’s go on to today’s final quiz.

He only gave me eighteen dollars; he’ll give me the rest tomorrow.

Solo me dio dieciocho dólares, me dará el resto mañana.

If he does it again, I’m going to give him only half of the money.

Si vuelve a hacerlo, solo voy a darle la mitad del dinero.

I’m going to give you the rest of the things in order.

Te voy a dar el resto de las cosas en orden.

If I arrive at seven thirty again, she is going to go crazy.

Si vuelvo a llegar a las siete y media, va a volverse loca.

(Plural) Come back or we’ll only be seventeen people!

¡Vuelvan o solo seremos diecisiete personas!

He hasn’t arrived because there was a loss.

No ha llegado porque hubo una baja.

He is looking for this month’s average.

Busca la media de este mes.

He doesn’t want me to know the length of the bed again.

No quiere que vuelva a saber el largo de la cama.

Are you looking for the average? It’s eighteen.

¿Buscas la media? Es dieciocho.

The drop is yet to come.

La baja está por venir.

He came back yesterday and she’ll come back tomorrow; they arrive in order.

Él volvió ayer y ella volverá mañana; llegan en orden.

Don’t do that again or I’m going to go crazy.

No vuelvas a hacer eso o voy a volverme loco.

I want them to tell me the length of the street again.

Quiero que me vuelvan a decir el largo de la calle.

He didn’t arrive on time, so she doesn’t want him to come back.

Él no llegó a tiempo, entonces ella no quiere que vuelva.

I hope you don’t have a drop again.

Espero que no vuelvas a tener una baja.

(Formal) Come back! Our seventeen friends are about to get here.

¡Vuelva! Nuestros diecisiete amigos están por llegar.

Go back! You have to look for the rest.

¡Vuelve! Tienes que buscar el resto.

She has put the things in order again.

Ha vuelto a poner las cosas en orden.

The order is: first nineteen, then twenty.

El orden es: primero diecinueve, luego veinte.

Look for the other half, we don’t have the rest.

Busca la otra mitad, no tenemos el resto.

The order gave us an average of ten.

El orden nos dio una media de diez.

Get here before six thirty, please!

¡Llega antes de las seis y media, por favor!

He wants me to arrive at two thirty.

Quiere que yo llegue a las dos y media.

You (plural) have to go back in order.

Tienen que volver en orden.

The length of this place is half of the other place.

El largo de este lugar es la mitad del otro lugar.

He never arrives on time.

Nunca llega a tiempo.

For more practice with all of this, go to LCSPodcast.com/154, or tune in tomorrow for a big quiz to practice everything we’ve learned this week.

This show is brought to you by LearnCraftSpanish.com. The Spanish voice in this episode was our coach Ximena Lama-Rondón. Our music was performed by the Seattle Marimba Quartet, and I’m Timothy, encouraging you to do the hard work of learning Spanish. Acquiring a second language is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, so start your fluency journey today at LCSPodcast.com.

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