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    #1

    worthy or worthwhile

    In today's test, I hit upon a word derivation item, asking the students to complete a sentence with the appropriate form of the word provided in the brackets. Here is the test item:

    She is willing to donate more money to a ______ cause. (worth)

    The answer is "worthy", but I think "worthwhile" is also correct. Am I right? If both are acceptable in such a context, is there any difference between them? Thanks for enlightenment.

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    #2

    Re: worthy or worthwhile

    worthwile (something that is worth its while = worths its time, trouble, or expense)
    worthy:
    worthy cause (=an activity or organization that helps people): The money will go to a worthy cause.
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/d...orthy#worthy_4

    Both are fine.

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    #3

    Re: worthy or worthwhile

    "Worthy cause" is the common expression.

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    #4

    Re: worthy or worthwhile

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Worthy cause" is the common expression.
    But all the following sentences from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (5th edition) suggest that "worthwhile cause" is also a common collocation.

    COLLOCATIONS FROM CORPUS
    ■ NOUN
    cause
    ▪ Triodos's range of accounts includes six Partnership Accounts that allow savers to channel money into worthwhile causes.
    ▪ If you wish to contribute to this worthwhile cause, please see below for details.
    ▪ It's a simple idea which should channel hundreds of millions of pounds into worthwhile causes.
    ▪ Council leader Christopher Kingsley said the restoration project will create local jobs and was a worthwhile cause.


    and the Oxford Collocations Dictionary also says

    "Worthwhile is used with these nouns: cause, effort, end, endeavour, exercise, idea, investment, job, project, read, reading, trip, undertaking."

    Is there such a difference in usage between American English speakers and British English speakers?

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    #5

    Re: worthy or worthwhile

    I can see the similarity but I would use them slightly differently.

    Volunteering for the charity was a worthwhile use of my time. (My time was well spent)

    I volunteer for that charity. It's a worthy cause. (The cause deserves my time and effort)

    It's a worthy cause. (It deserves recognition, time and effort)
    It's a worthwhile cause. (What it does is useful)

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    #6

    Re: worthy or worthwhile

    Many thanks.

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