Difference Between Valuable and Invaluable

Main Difference

While seeing at both the words, one making hasty conclusion would surely think that these words are antonyms of each other. Though, one would be surprised as these words are used interchangeably in casual speech. Valuable refers to something worth a lot of money, whereas invaluable refers to something having inestimable value beyond the monetary value. Deriving the meaning exactly from valuable, many people often get confuse as they think invaluable is something not having any kind of worth. It literally means something having much more value that can’t be measured in terms of money. The antonym for valuable is worthless. Valuable can be used as adjective and noun, whereas invaluable only works as an adjective.

Comparison Chart

ValuableInvaluable
MeaningThe word valuable means something that worth a lot of money.The word invaluable means something having inestimable value beyond the monetary value.
Grammatical formsValuable can be used as adjective and noun.Invaluable only works as an adjective.
Monetary worthCan be measured.Can’t be measured.
Example 1‘She gifted me a valuable watch on this wedding anniversary.’ In this sentence valuable is used as adjective.‘Jennifer’s painting is invaluable.’ Here invaluable means something priceless.
Example 2‘Her valuables were stolen at the gun point.’ In this case valuable in the plural form is used as noun‘This wouldn’t have been possible without you invaluable contribution. In this case invaluable means extremely useful or indispensable.

What is Valuable?

The word valuable means something that worth a lot of money. The other meaning valuable is very useful or helpful. Usually, valuable is regarded as an adjective, though it can also be used as a noun. When its about valuable, its not actually the money, it is the monetarily worth one thing posses. The word valuable can also be used as noun, and that too generally in the plural state. Things having great monetarily value are called valuable. Jewels, watches, cars are valuable, whereas a good friend is invaluable.

Examples:‘She gifted me a valuable watch on this wedding anniversary.’ In this sentence valuable is used as adjective and tells that the watch being gifted posses higher monetarily value.

‘Her valuables were stolen at the gun point.’ In this case valuable in the plural form is used as noun.

‘Thanks! for you valuable time.’ In this sentence valuable means useful or helpful.

What is Invaluable?

The word invaluable means something having inestimable value beyond the monetary value. Many take prefix ‘in’ as nullifying the term valuable and meaning something having no worth. Though, the case of invaluable is little different as even with addition of in the worth gets even more, which can’t be even measured. The worth invaluable posses can be something beyond the monetarily worth or it can even be the monetarily value but inestimable or can’t be measured. This can further be elaborated with an example of ‘finite’ and ‘infinite’, finite is something that can end or have limit, whereas infinite is something endless or uncountable. The other meaning it posses is extremely useful or indispensable.

Examples: ‘Jennifer’s painting is invaluable.’ Here invaluable means something priceless.

‘This wouldn’t have been possible without you invaluable contribution. In this case invaluable means extremely useful or indispensable.

Valuable vs. Invaluable

  • Valuable refers to something worth a lot of money, whereas invaluable refers to something having inestimable value beyond the monetary value.
  • Jewels, watches, cars are valuable, whereas a good friend is invaluable.
  • The antonym for valuable is worthless.
  • Valuable can be used as adjective and noun, whereas invaluable only works as an adjective.
  • In some circumstances, valuable may also means important or useful, while invaluable can also be refereed as indispensable.

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Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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