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Another thing I'm often corrected on is my apparent overuse of the word medio. What are the proper uses of the words mitad (and la mitad) and medio (and el medio)?

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Please name some examples you use with both mitad and medio, so we can assess them. – Petruza Jan 3 '12 at 1:14
@Petruza: The only example I can recall is the song Mi media mitad and I've always thought it sounded wrong. – Jaime Soto Jan 3 '12 at 13:50
@JaimeSoto: why wrong? media is half as an adjective, and mitad is half as a noun, so media mitad is effectively half of a half, I.E. a quarter. – Petruza Jan 3 '12 at 13:59
@Petruza: It sounds wrong in the context of the song. I doubt the author meant to say She's my 25% in the phrase Ella fué mi media mitad. – Jaime Soto Jan 3 '12 at 14:11
@Petruza: I don't understand your question; I'm not asking about when to use both, but when to use either. – Flimzy Jan 3 '12 at 23:34
up vote 8 down vote accepted

These have a few different meanings depending on the presence or absence of el/la.

Un medio día = a half day.

En el medio de la muchedumbre = in the middle of the crowd

But I wouldn't really say it this way; I think el medio is less commonly-used. I would say En el centro de la muchedumbre in that case, for example.

I've never seen mitad alone. Its use is pretty specific. Use it when half needs to operate as a noun.

Deme la mitad = Give me half

They're distinct words; the uses and meanings don't really overlap as such other than that they both sometimes translate to half in English.

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la mitad = half, when operating as a noun. I think that was the missing piece. Thank you! – Flimzy Nov 24 '11 at 21:22
It's "la muchedumbre", not "el muchedumbre". DRAE – MikMik Dec 27 '11 at 9:08
Fixed. @MikMik You should be able to propose an edit to my post by clicking the edit link. Thanks! – Kevin K. Jan 2 '12 at 7:59
@KevinK.: the fix is less than 6 characters, only you can fix it, neither MikMik nor I have enough reputation to do so. – Petruza Jan 3 '12 at 14:02

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