There are some common ‘false friends’ and misunderstandings related to the phrase ‘It’s not worth (it)’.
The meaning of ‘It’s worth + ing/noun’
1. Good or important enough to justify taking action
e.g. It’s worth buying a course if writing feedback is included.
The meaning of ‘It’s not worth + ing’
1. Not good or important enough to justify taking action
e.g. It’s not worth buying a course if you can get the same information for free online.
2. Not as valuable or as important as someone thinks.
e.g. The course costs a lot of money but there’s no feedback, 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’
[Task 2] ‘It’s worth pointing out that most people are law-abiding citizens’.
[Academic Task 1] ‘It’s worth highlighting the fact that only 3% of the population have been vaccinated’.
- ‘Chinese is a difficult language but it’s (well) worth the trouble/the time.’
- ‘It’s only a small 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‘.
- ‘I spent a lot of money, but it was worth it‘.
- And of course, the famous L’Oreal advert ‘Because you’re worth it’.
The GRAMMAR of ‘It’s worth +ing/noun’
‘The museum is quite expensive. Is it worth a visit?’
‘Yes it’s definitely worth visiting‘.
As you can see from all the examples above, ‘It’s worth’ can be followed by
1. a nouns
It’s worth a try.
It’s worth the wait/the time/the trouble.
It’s worth it. (dummy ‘it’)
2. ‘ing’ verbs
It’s worth doing.
When to use ‘worthy’
Meaning: having or showing the qualities that deserve the specified action.
Use: ‘Worthy’ is a much more formal expression and takes ‘of + noun’.
Grammar: ‘be worthy of + noun’.
Example: [Task 2] ‘These issues are worthy of further consideration.’
Do you need motivation, high-quality materials, a roadmap, feedback, guidance and an IELTS specialist teacher?
Upgrade to the Members Academy today.
Get instant access to all courses, challenges, boot camps, live classes, interactive and engaging classes, 1:1 support, and a friendly tight-knit community of like-minded learners to get you to Band 7+.