Submitted by Dyske on February 18, 2003

Value

What is the difference between:

“It has a value.” and “It has value.”

Comments

Sort by

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.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

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]".

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

The difference is instantiation.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

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

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

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

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

"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.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

'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.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

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

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

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.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

"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.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Your Comment