it is worth

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it is worth

Post by navi » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:55 am

Is this sentence correct:

1) It is worth seeing that movie.

How can one parse it?

I thought it was like:
2) It is good sitting here.
but that is equivalent to:
3) Sitting here is good.

And one can't have:

*4) Seeing that movie is worth.

Maybe one could have
5) Seeing that movie is worth it.
6) It is worth it seeing that movie.
But what does the second 'it' stand for?

These two pose no problem as far as parsing is concerned:
7) That movie is worth seeing.
8 ) It is worth seeing.

But I can't parse '1'...


Re: it is worth

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:29 pm

Compare these with "It is {worth [making] the effort} / [taking] the trouble} to see that movie".

My sense is that the problem you are having centres on the omission of the unstated but implicitly understood elements that I have explicitly included in the sentence above.

Your 6) is not idiomatic:

*It is worth it seeing that movie,

It is worth it to see that movie

Re: it is worth

Post by navi » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:56 pm

Thank you very much, Eric,

One more question here, if I may.

Are these correct:

A) The cost of the trip is worth the pleasure.
B) The trouble of going there is worth the satisfaction you will get.


Re: it is worth

Post by Phil White » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:22 pm

This use of "it" can be analyzed in a couple of different ways.

One way is to see "it" as an anticipatory subject. This reading allows the sentence to be read as "that movie is worth seeing".

The other way is to see it as an empty subject. I believe Quirk et al also call this a "prop" subject. It is the same use as "it is hot", "it is windy" and so on. A little hunting on the web suggests that people also refer to "dummy it" in this context.

I seem to remember that Quirk et al have a fair amount to say about constructions like these, including the closely related "it-cleft".
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

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