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What is the difference between:

“It has a value.” and “It has value.”

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"A value" is a quantity. Such as: "X has a value of 29." Whereas, value itself could be quantifiable or instrinsic, for example "My life has value to me." Value could refer to its monetary worth, or its personal worth. Value itself may or may not be arbitrary.

purpledragon February 20, 2003, 2:04am

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Purple Dragon's right. Anything can have value, or have some value; but when it has a value, it's a quantitative measure, and math probably comes into it.

tnh March 17, 2003, 9:14pm

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I'll go with the simple objective vs. subjective angle.

Weaver March 18, 2003, 11:42am

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'a value' can also leave the door open for a negative total assesment. 'Some value' often works better for this, as in "Bob's a jerk, but he has some value, if only as a bad example!". Speakers might use 'a value' as shorthand, meaning a single positive property was all that existed in a sea of negative value prperties.

mhenry01 March 18, 2003, 1:20pm

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"A value" indicates a specific assignment of value.

Without the article "a" it simply means the speaker or writer see value in "it", making it not worthless. No indication of specific worth is implied.

english March 18, 2003, 1:34pm

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"a value" is defined and tangible
"value" is abstract

me March 18, 2003, 5:06pm

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To me, "a value" is an extrinsic quality and precise. Value, on the other hand, is intrinsic and vague.

owl March 19, 2003, 6:07pm

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The difference is instantiation.

dan March 23, 2003, 1:35pm

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Simply put, "It has value" is qualitative, as in "valuable".

"It has a value" is NOT quantitative, it's simpler than that: "It has a value" can only be interpreted as "It has a number [associated with it]".

rostor April 10, 2003, 3:13pm

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Context is absent, but I'd say, "It has value" means "It is valuable." Meaning: substantial value.

"It has a value" means "It is not worthless." Meaning: minimal value.

erle April 10, 2003, 7:18pm

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