Hours Worth or Hours’ Worth? (Apostrophe or Not)

You should learn how to use apostrophes and possessive forms as early as you can. It’s not difficult to completely wrap your head around, but it might require a bit of understanding. This article will help you understand all the basics relating to “hours’ worth.”

Hours Worth or Hours’ Worth – Which Is Correct?

“Hours’ worth” is grammatically correct because you are using the plural possessive form of “hours.” It allows you to show that the “hours” own the “worth” portion of the phrase. “Hours worth” is not correct if you’re looking for the possessive form.

Hours Worth or Hours' Worth

Unfortunately, “hours worth” is just not correct. There are no direct instances where you should use the plural “hours” with the noun “worth.” It does not come up in daily speaking or writing.

The only time when it might be used is when someone misunderstands how apostrophes work in sentences. It is only ever a typo in this case, and we do not encourage you to copy them.

Hours Worth

“Hours worth” is never grammatically correct in the context of the possessive form. You should not use it when you are trying to show that the plural of “hours” owns the object “worth.”

It is only ever written as a typo. You might see one exception, where it looks like this:

  • What are your hours worth?

Here, “worth” is used differently, allowing “hours” to only be represented in the plural form rather than the possessive requirement with the apostrophe.

  1. Correct: I hope those hours’ worth of study will do you good out there. You need them.
  2. Incorrect: I thought you were going to get three hours worth of their time back. It’s the only way that it’s going to be fair.
  3. Correct: You should have told me this was six hours’ worth of work. I wouldn’t have agreed to it if I’d known.
  4. Incorrect: It’s a few hours worth of homework, but I should be able to get it done on time. Don’t worry about me.
  5. Correct: You didn’t mention that you needed us for over twelve hours’ worth of our time. We’re not signing up for a shift like that.
  6. Incorrect: It’s three hours worth of work. It can wait until next week. There’s no way you’re keeping us in until later tonight.

Hours’ Worth

“Hours’ worth” is grammatically correct. It uses the apostrophe to show that “hours” is in the plural possessive form. This allows it to own the word “worth,” which shows that a certain amount of time has to be used to make something happen.

  1. I’ve got four hours’ worth of homework to get done tonight. I really don’t think I’m going to be able to complete it.
  2. You should have at least three hours’ worth of work left. I’m not going to let you go until it’s all completed.
  3. I thought she said it was six hours’ worth of backlog. I’m not being funny, but I do not have the time to get that done.
  4. You wanted four hours’ worth of copy, so I got that sorted for you. I hope we’re able to move past this now.
  5. We are waiting for two hours’ worth of apologies from them. They have really wronged us, and we’re not going to take it.
  6. Whatever it is, three hours’ worth of work isn’t worth my time. I’m going to go home now before you try anything else.

Which Is Used the Most?

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “hours’ worth” is the grammatically correct phrase and the one that is most common. It is used much more than “hours worth,” showing that it is the phrase that applies to all sentences.

Hours Worth or Hours' Worth usage

“Hours worth” has a surprising amount of uses, given that it’s not a grammatically correct variation. This could indicate that many writers drop the apostrophe informally or when they don’t believe the grammatical rules should be followed.

We do not recommend leaving the apostrophe out. It is much better to show that you fully comprehend the possessive form by making sure the apostrophe stays in.

Final Thoughts

“Hours’ worth” is the only grammatically correct form that you should use. You should not use “hours worth” without an apostrophe because it does not signify that “hours” is written as a plural possessive. It is only ever a typo if you see “hours worth” used.

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