Meia ou metade ? When to use

Could anyone explain the difference between meia and metade please. How do I recognise which one to use, other than those expressions such as meia- noite? Thanks

@maureenlister1, good question. Both metade and meio/meia mean half, but the former is a noun and the latter is an adjective. Note that meio can also be used as a noun, but instead of half, it means middle or center, so it’s not interchangeable with metade. Let me clarify with some examples:

Metade (noun)

  • Seis é metade de doze. = Six is half of twelve.
  • Eu ganho metade do teu salário. = I earn half of your salary.

Meio (noun)

  • Estamos no meio da praça. = We’re in the middle of the square.
  • A mesa está no meio da sala. = The table is in the middle of the room.

Meio/meia (adjective)

  • Eu comi meia sandes. = I ate half a sandwich.
  • Passou meia hora. = Half an hour has passed.

Thank you very much. The mystery is solved!