Nowadays, we often hear the words ‘worth it’. We can hear it almost everywhere such as in movies, daily conversations, or motivational quotes. However, some words sound similar to ‘worth it’, namely ‘worthy’ and ‘worthwhile’. Although they sound alike, there is a huge difference in the words themselves. 

Sometimes, it can be frustrating to learn English and memorize thousands of phrases with similar words. Don’t worry, ET Mates. We will help you explain  the use of each phrase correctly . We also provide you with some examples for each phrase.

Worth it

This phrase is one of the most relatable phrases we can use in our daily conversation. If someone says, “it’s totally worth it” that means that they gain something precious that costs them something. Usually, it costs them something valuable like freedom, leisure time, sleep, and other things that challenge them. However, when the result comes out they feel so satisfied that their hard work finally pays off. 

Also, it’s not necessary to always use the words ‘worth it’. You can use ‘worth [something]’ instead. So, if you hear someone say, “is it worth the risk?” What they mean is, “Is the risk going to pay off in the end?” Some people often  mistake  ‘worth it’  with ‘worthed’. However, the word ‘worthed’ has a whole different meaning from ‘worth it’.



‘Worthy’ is an adjective that means someone is qualified, adequate, or has the great merit to fulfill something. It also means that they deserve it. Are you familiar with Marvel’s character; Thor, son of Odin? In the story, Thor has to show that he is worthy of his magical weapon (Mjolnir). His father stated that no one with a crooked heart can even lift the weapon which means someone has to be worthy enough to lift it. Therefore, to gain his weapon back, Thor learns how to be decent and morally good.

So, if someone asks, “are you worthy?” Just like in Thor’s case, you have to prove that you are qualified and have a decent character.




Worthwhile is also an adjective. However, the context is not the same as ‘worthy’. If we use ‘worthy’ to describe how noble someone is, then we use ‘worthwhile’ to describe actions or efforts. 

One day, a woman who worked at a bank resigned and decided to become a volunteer teacher in a small region in Africa. She said that it’s a worthwhile activity because she believed these African kids could be great leaders or inspiring people in the future. 

Yup! The previous story is one of the examples in using the word ‘worthwhile’. The action that the woman had done is virtuous. She left her comfort zone to educate kids in need. So, would you do something worthwhile for a better world, ET Mates? In learning English, you may find some vocabulary with a similar sound. Therefore, it is important to distinguish the differences and learn them by heart.