What does worth the effort mean

Is it worth it or the effort?


Is it worth the effort? Or is it maybe worth the effort? I dont know…

As you can see, I am in doubt, and in order not to get confused, I prefer to ask a graduate student straight away: If it is worth the effort is, it should too worth trying be. Rome should also be worth a trip. Much more common, however, seems to me that Rome a Trip and it one Worth trying. I suspect that both options are justifiable, but which one is more correct?


Dear Mr. H.,

Even the “graduate” did not immediately know the answer to this question. Fortunately, there are “clever” books that can help you get on your feet again. The expression be worth can stand with the accusative and with the genitive. With the accusative (be worth) it means have a certain value or worth the effort, the effort:

That’s worth a lot of money.
It's not worth a penny.

Rome is worth the trip
Well worth a try.

With the genitive (to be worth something) is the meaning be worthy, deserve:

You are worth our trust.
Your behavior is worthy of the greatest admiration.
It's not worth mentioning. (= It is not worth mentioning.)

Our uncertainty is probably due to the fact that you have many words with both meanings to be worth can use and that meanings worth the effort and be worthy sometimes not so far apart:

This thing is well worth the effort. = It is worthwhile to make an effort for this cause.
This thing is well worth the effort. = This thing deserves to be tried.

Depending on which of these two meanings you mean, use the accusative (worth the effort) or the genitive (be worth the effort).

With best regards

Dr. Bopp

Author Dr. BoppPosted on Categories General, Grammar, VocabularyTags Declination, Sentence structure, Supplementation