She marveled at snowy cherry blossoms, simultaneously seeing herself as not worth it of them.

I often confuse worth, worthwhile, and worth it. Is worth it the right option in this case?

  • 3
    None of your suggestions would be valid. It's a fairly odd thing to say, but She saw herself as not worthy of them (or ...as unworthy of them). – FumbleFingers Apr 5 '17 at 16:10
  • Also, "simultaneously" implies there are two ongoing actions. I understand that the first action is meant to be her marveling at them, but you should put simultaneously before the first action. Otherwise you can use something like "at the same time". – Andrew Apr 5 '17 at 16:38

As FumbleFingers says, what you want is not worthy or unworthy.

. . . seeing herself as unworthy of them.

To clarify the difference between these four terms:

  • X is worth Y means that Y, the cost of obtaining X, is an appropriate amount—paying Y for X is a good deal. The idiom may be used with Y replaced by a noun or gerund expressing the money or action you must pay to get X

    X is worth $100.
    X is worth the effort.
    X is worth trying harder.

  • X is worthwhile is essentially the same idiom—it's a reduced form of worth the while, meaning "worth the time you have to spend".

  • X is worth it is the same idiom, with it referring to a previously mentioned cost or action expended.

  • But It is worth it/Y to VERB . . . is an it-cleft sentence, in which the first it stands for the infinitival clause *to VERB . . . * at the end—and that infinitival expresses the X you get by expending the cost it/Y in money or time or effort.

    It's worth the cost to get this matter settled = Getting this matter settled is worth the cost [which we will have to spend].

  • Worthy [of X], however, is quite different: it expresses deserving to receive X. Presumably you've already 'expended' whatever Y entitles you to receive X.

    She is worthy of our respect = She deserves our respect.

  • Often, "worth" or "worthwhile" indicates not only a cost, but the fact that paying the cost makes sense. In other words, it's a good deal. – Alan Apr 5 '17 at 18:33
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    @Alan Quite right, I need to include that. – StoneyB on hiatus Apr 5 '17 at 18:44

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