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Friday Takeaways

‘worth’ vs ‘worthy’

Which is correct?

‘My IELTS test is tomorrow – should I buy a course?’

1. ‘It’s not worthy to buy a course’.

2. ‘It’s not worth buying a course’.

Check your answer here

2. is correct.

‘It’s not worth + ing’


The meaning of ‘It’s not worth + ing

Meaning 1

An action is not justified because it will not get a valuable or positive enough response.

e.g. It’s not worth spending any time studying for the test because it won’t make any difference at this late stage – the time would be wasted.

Meaning 2

Something is not as valuable or as important as someone thinks.

e.g. The course costs a lot of money but it only has 5 lessons, so it’s not worth buying.


Fixed expression ‘It’s not worth it‘.

‘Stop worrying about the test. It’s not worth it’.

= the importance does not justify the concern you’re showing.

‘Why are you crying about your ex? He’s not worth it.’

= he doesn’t deserve the time/energy that you’re wasting on him.

Useful expressions with ‘It’s worth’

‘It’s worth pointing out that most people are law-abiding citizens’.

‘It’s worth highlighting the fact that only 3% of the population have been vaccinated’.

‘Chinese is a difficult language but it’s worth the trouble/the time.’

‘It’s only a piece of land, but it’s worth fighting for‘.

‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well‘.

‘I bought it for £10 but it’s worth much more‘.

‘Even if you’re not ready to do it now, it’s worth considering‘.

‘You might win! It’s worth a try‘.

‘I learnt some interesting things – it’s worth watching/reading‘.

And of course, the famous L’Oreal advert ‘Because you’re worth it’.


When to use worthy

‘He’s not worthy of your attention’.

= he doesn’t deserve your attention

= you’re giving him more attention than he deserves.

‘Worthy’ is a much more formal expression and takes ‘of + noun’.


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