What is the difference between "do more harm than good" and "has more bad to it than good"? Do they literally mean "have more disadvantages than advantages"?

Are they informal?

  • 1
    Harm is transitive. It's not the intrinsic qualities that are being assessed, but the effects those intrinsic qualities will have. – Dan Bron Oct 6 '15 at 10:31
  • What about formality? Can both expressions be used in formal contexts? – user121256 Oct 6 '15 at 21:52
  • I've not heard the second phrase very much, the first is a common phrase. – Barmar Oct 8 '15 at 0:42
  • Unfortunately, Google Ngram doesn't allow searching for phrases longer than 5 words. – Barmar Oct 8 '15 at 0:43

"Do more harm than good" implies that whatever is happening will result in more bad than good (the word harm could be replaced by bad; it's the do that matters). I've never actually heard "has more bad to it than good", but to me it sounds like it's describing a quality of something rather than the effect.

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