83

Which one is correct and why?

I think "worth it" is an adjective phrase. So what is "worth" then?

Example:

You should try spending money on her. It worths it.

You should try spending money on her. It worth it.

You should try spending money on her. It is worth it.

Which one is right? The last 2 are not condemned by grammar checker.

1
  • 3
    Please give us some more context. How is the phrase being used (in a complete sentence)? I believe worths is a word only in the fact that it's the plural of the noun worth.
    – JLG
    Jun 2, 2012 at 14:16

6 Answers 6

90

Worth as a verb is obsolete. Where have you seen or heard It worths it or It worth it?

What you will find is It’s worth it, used to describe something that has a value equivalent to what is being asked for it either in terms of money or effort. In that use, worth is an adjective.

8
  • I see. Worth it is an adjective phrase. What is "worth" by itself then? Combined with it, it becomes an adjective.
    – user4951
    Jun 2, 2012 at 14:21
  • 2
    I think it's worth it sounds a lot like it worth it. I think that's where the confusion is.
    – user4951
    Jun 2, 2012 at 14:22
  • 3
    'Worth' can be both an adjective and a noun. Jun 2, 2012 at 14:25
  • this stuff worths $6000?
    – user4951
    Feb 3, 2014 at 8:46
  • 2
    And how would you say that? May 19, 2015 at 12:10
34

Only the last one is correct.

"Worth" is classified as an Adjective and used as one. (Although it also acts differently from all of the Adjectives.)

In your particular example, "worth" is used as an Adjective but acts as a Preposition. That's why it's normally followed by a Noun, a Pronoun or a Gerund.

Ex.

It's worth a try.

It's worth it.

It's worth trying.

1
  • You say::: "worth" is used as an Adjective but acts as a Preposition. That's why it's normally followed by a Noun, a Pronoun or a Gerund.<<< Please give an example of worth used as an adjective followed by a noun? Sure it is an adj, but my OED says "not before by a noun". I hope this comment is worthy of the space here, worthwhile?!!
    – Vali Jamal
    Feb 23, 2021 at 23:31
0

What you will find is worth it, used to describe something that has a value equivalent to what is being asked for it either in terms of money or effort. In that use, worth is an adjective.

0

If you're having trouble understanding this, then look at 'worth' as 'having value.' then: It's worth a try. is equivalent to (but NOT replaceable by) It has value to try OR There is value in trying

It's worth it. is equivalent to (but NOT replaceable by) It has value (roughly equivalent value).

It's worth trying. is equivalent to (but NOT replaceable by) It has value to try OR there is value in trying

0

The question is worthy of an answer. Is it an adjective, then it should have a noun following. It is suggested it could be used as a verb. English language does evolve in that direction. Would >>The question worths a response<< work? Worths=merits? Eccentric but could pass with a [sic]. The spell-check has lighted up. Grammar-check?

-2

"It doesn't worth it." is very common.

So as, "It worths every penny of it.", do you agree?

"It's worth it" sounds very very strange.

Why can't we simply use worth as a verb? Just keep it simple.

2
  • 1
    Not only is it certainly not “very common”, there is simply no such thing as “It doesn’t worth it.” This is a made-up answer claiming something that does not exist does. Worth is no longer a verb. It is a very strange word, I admit, in that it appears to be an adjective that takes an object complement, or perhaps some bizarre form of preposition. But whatever it is, it is not a verb.
    – tchrist
    Jul 28, 2014 at 5:19
  • @rockyliu - This sounds strange even to me, a non-native English speaker :) Jul 28, 2014 at 7:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.