I’ve come across this text:

Wie alt mag sie sein? Ich sehe ihr Gesicht nur halb.

This sounds like halb is used as an adverb? Am I correct?

  • Yes, it can be used as adverb (cf. de.wiktionary.org/wiki/halb#Adverb), but I am not sure about your example – Iris Nov 2 '16 at 12:55
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    IMHO, it's an adverb here. Beware of dictionaries that classify words as adverbs only "just because we don't have any better category", though. – tofro Nov 2 '16 at 12:57
  • It's an adverb, you can replace it e.g. with schlecht. – Janka Nov 2 '16 at 13:02
  • I don't think, it's an adverb here. The sentence is not stating I half-see her face but I see the half of her face. What would "halb sehen" mean? @Janka, I think the replacement with "schlecht" is syntactically homologue, but the semantics are changing in this replacement. Because "schlecht" would refer to the act of seeing. – jonathan.scholbach Feb 17 '17 at 9:56

It can be used as an adverb like in your example.

However, in a formal context or if you just want your language to sound more advanced out of any other reason, you could also say:

Ich sehe ihr Gesicht nur zur Hälfte.

That sounds more correct in my ears, even though your version is in fact, too.

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  • Actually it's taken out from Delfin reading book. Thanks a lot! – user23568 Nov 2 '16 at 14:59

Halb is an adverb here because it modifies the verb "sehe." Ich sehe ihr Gesicht nur halb. (I only "half see" her face.)

It would be an adjective if it modified the noun. "Ich sehe nur ihr halbes Gesicht." (I see only half her face.)

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