"La mitad de la población tiene menos de quince años."

Translation:Half of the population is less than fifteen years old.

January 15, 2013



Why is the "la" necessary?

January 15, 2013


In Spanish, you can't say "Mitad de la población...", in the same way you can't say "Niños corren" (for "Boys run"). Whereas in English it is possible to remove the article, in Spanish it's not.

January 15, 2013


Are there any specific tricks or tips for when the article is needed and when it's not?

January 15, 2013


when talking about a person's/peoples' profession(s) (I know estudiante is included and there might be other "jobs" that follow this rule that may not seem like jobs.) they aren't required as far as I know. "estoy estudiante" "eres doctor", "son cocineros"

August 19, 2013


You almost never can leave it out.

February 17, 2013


Hola ryan.fleming: When you are speaking of the grand aspect of a subject (like "half of the population" or "world peace" or "college students" or "animals"), the article is used in Spanish, but not translated in English. More examples, "Men like football more than women" (note: In English, no articles), but in Spanish: "A los hombres les gustan el fútbol más que las mujeres".(note: in Spanish, the articles "los" and "las"). "Flies are insects" = "Las moscas son insectos".

November 10, 2013


Football is ok, but I like women more than football.

July 25, 2018


If you take 'the' out of the English sentence it doesn't make sense either does it?

January 18, 2019


I have a question for the English native speakers:

'Half of the population are less than fifteen years old'.

Can it be also a correct sentence?

September 26, 2013


Population is singular, so you say "the population is".

October 15, 2013


Thank you isaacwisdom.

After making some search (I have done it after seeing your answer ) I have found out this link:


Here is one of the things that is written their:

" Fractions modifying a collective noun can take either singular or plural:

Two thirds of the population of Lebanon is Muslim.

Two thirds of the population of Lebanon are Muslims "

So, I guess it is not about the word population, but about what is coming after it (if it is singular or plural ).

October 17, 2013


thanks for taking time to provide us with research ...very helpful

April 25, 2014


Actually it is often considered a matter of regional emphasis on whether you want to push the half (eg, as a statistic) or concentrate on the objects. In Australia it is used both ways often but in other places one emphasis / or grammatical preference is chosen as ´standard´.

May 22, 2018


Although I'm not an English native speaker, I think this is correct. You can say either half the population "is" or "are", just like you can say "my family is very happy to meet you", or "my family are very happy to meet you".

November 12, 2013


I am an American English speaker and "half the population is" is what is correct. Some people make mistakes and say are. Remember that it is one half and is therefore singular and the word population is also considered singular. The example of two thirds is considered plural, but since population is a word that is considered singular even though it contains many people(a collective noun), they have made an exception. I would never use singular with two thirds though. What comes after the verb "is" must agree with the subject which is two thirds. I would like to know who they are that made the exception.

November 17, 2013


It isn't an error. It's a dialect difference. Listen to broadcasters from areas that use a more British dialect. Many collective nouns (family, team, population, town when referring to the people in it, ,,,) use are in those dialects. THEY think WE are wrong.

March 7, 2018


This must be something that varies by region. To me, "half of the population are..." sounds unnatural.

June 25, 2014


It's definitely regional. I think British English when I hear (most) singular collective nouns paired with are, (family are, team are, population are) just sounds wrong to me, but I hear and read it all the time from native English speakers with dialects different than midwestern English.

March 7, 2018


"Population" is not the subject. It is the object of the preposition "of" Half is the subject, since it is one half it is considered to be singular.

November 17, 2013


If the group is doing something collectively, you treat is as singular. If the group has a bunch of members each doing individual things, you treat it as plural. That's basically what I was taught.

December 21, 2013


Hola itay_bi: There is some debate about this. Some say "are", some say "is". To me, "is" sounds better, but I am not going to worry about it. Not that important. I'm moving on to the next sentence. CHAU

November 10, 2013


Jan 30, 1014. It depends on where you learned your English as a child. Americans would say is, looking at population as singular, British English might use are, looking at population as referring back to multiple people,. So are you learning British or American English? Written work would be corrected in America if are were used, probably the opposite in Britain, although I didn't go through that school system.

January 30, 2014


Yep, it uk english this would be correct.

February 22, 2014


In my eyes (this might be wrong), it all depends on what the person saying it is thinking. For example, when one says "the team is winning", what he/she means is that the team is one entity, whereas if one would say "Real Madrid are winning", he/she would mean that all players on that team are winning. While the second might sound strange, and maybe these are not the best examples, I believe in some cases both ('is' and 'are') are correct.

March 21, 2014


I wrote "THE half of the population is less than fifteen years old". The app doesn't accept it. Is it really wrong here if I use the definite article?

August 16, 2014


It's not completely wrong, there are dialects that use it occasionally, but it certainly is VERY uncommon.. We usually don't use the with half unless we are referring to a specific half - like What happened to the half of the pie that I left in the refrigerator?

August 16, 2014


¨half the population¨ would imply that a half (divided by age ) of the population is less than 15.

¨The half of the population¨ would imply a specific half that is already chosen also happens to be under the age of 15. You could also say ¨the half of the population THAT is under 15 years old...¨which would give you the same info but again already is specifically separated in a way that ¨half of the population¨is not

May 22, 2018


I thought the way "less than" was said in spanish is "menos que" not "menos de." Why the change here?

October 19, 2013


Hola eshewan: You are correct that in many cases "menos que" is correct...EXCEPT when dealing with numbers. With numbers, it is "menos de". Chau.

November 10, 2013


Why is "Half of the population have less than fifteen years" wrong? or what is the "is" or "are" translated from in the sentence, why is "tiene" used instead of es or son

October 12, 2015


English uses "is or are fifteen years old"" instead of have or has.

It's just a difference in the language that you need to get used to. Word for word translation can help when you want to construct correct Spanish sentences, but you need to be aware that it isn't always the right way to say it in normal speech, and Duo only sometimes encourages word for word translation (I wish they never would)

Spanish also says "I have hunger " Tengo hambre instead of I am hungry, I have thirst (Tengo sed) instead of I am thirsty. Portuguese does the same thing, and German does it also with some expressions. There are a lot more of these, which you will learn as you go. (Spanish speakers ask the same thing in reverse) The rule is - "because that's the way they say it"

October 12, 2015


Very helpful. Thanks klgregonis. Have a lingot.

September 4, 2016


Would "media" be a comparable substitute for middle or half?

September 16, 2013


It can be in some cases, such as in "half an apple" (media manzana), but it doesn't work in this case.

September 16, 2013


Bienvenidos a Uganda.

January 5, 2016


I said "medio de la" and they marked it wrong why?

January 13, 2017


ONE HALF was the correction, I was wrong with Half of the …….

May 28, 2018


why does tiene translate to is

August 6, 2018


Hello Nadia894618: When you speak about age in Spanish, people are said to "have [x] years". ¿Cuántos años tiene usted?- literally "how many years do you have?' English says "how old are you?"

August 10, 2018
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