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I know that to say an hour and a half you can say 一時間半, but is it possible to express simply half an hour even though the counter comes before 半? Or would you just have to say 三十分?

If both ways are possible, is one widely more common or are they both equally common?

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

We normally say [三十分]{さんじゅっぷん}.
Some people say [半時間]{はんじかん}, but I think it's only used in Kansai area.

参考に・・→ OKWave「半時間って方言ですか」

I'm from Kyoto but actually I've never noticed any of my friends say 半時間... Most of them are in/from Kyoto, Osaka, or Shiga. I think it's more used by older people (probably in Osaka?), because the only two people I can remember that use 半時間 regularly are from Osaka, living in Osaka and over 70 years old.

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The Japanese side of my family (which is from 徳島) uses 半時間 regularly, and the same construction with other units, like 半メートル and 半リットル. As you said, they don't seem to be used much in Tokyo, though. – dainichi Oct 18 '12 at 1:10
@dainichi 「半メートル、半リットル」も京都では聞いたことがないような・・・。(ま、でも、言えば通じると思いますが。) – user1016 May 16 '13 at 10:58
「半日」「半月」「半年」とかはよく使いますよね~。(反日じゃなくてね) – user1016 May 16 '13 at 11:00

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