'Valuable\u2019 and \u2018invaluable\u2019 are tricky words. They look like opposites, but there's actually a big overlap in their meanings. So, what is the difference between something being \u2018valuable\u2019 and something being \u2018invaluable\u2019?\nIn this post, we\u2019ll help you make the right choices in your writing.\n\nValuable (Worth a Lot of Money or Important)\nThe word \u2018valuable\u2019 is usually an adjective meaning \u2018worth a lot of money\u2019:\nThey kept the most valuable jewellery in a safe.\nHe is very valuable to us as a client.\nOr it can describe something as being important more generally:\nAnna gave me some valuable advice.\nThe most valuable things in my life are friends and family.\nMore rarely, \u2018valuable\u2019 can be a noun that refers to something of value. For instance, people use the plural \u2018valuables\u2019 to refer to small, valuable items:\nI locked my camera, passport, and other valuables in the hotel safe.\nIn all cases, though, \u2018valuable\u2019 refers to something having worth.\n\nInvaluable (Priceless or Essential)\nThe adjective \u2018invaluable\u2019 means \u2018priceless\u2019 or \u2018essential\u2019. This can apply to something that is beyond monetary value, such as a priceless work of art. More often, though, it applies to something extremely useful or important:\nJean\u2019s travels gave her invaluable insight into other cultures.\nHer analytical skills make her an invaluable member of the team.\nIn this sense, we can sometimes use \u2018valuable\u2019 and \u2018invaluable\u2019 interchangeably, such as in our earlier example:\nAnna gave me some invaluable advice.\nThe only difference here is that \u2018invaluable\u2019 is stronger than \u2018valuable\u2019.\nBut this doesn\u2019t work for things that are simply worth a lot of money:\nThe Rolex watch is more invaluable than the Casio watch. \u2718\nThe Rolex watch is more valuable than the Casio watch.\u00a0\u00a0 \u2714\nAnd, unlike \u2018valuable\u2019, \u2018invaluable\u2019 is only ever an adjective, never a noun.\nBut what about the \u2018in-\u2019 at the start of \u2018invaluable\u2019? Doesn\u2019t this usually imply a negation, such as \u2018inedible\u2019 (the opposite of \u2018edible\u2019) or \u2018incorrect\u2019 (the opposite of \u2018correct\u2019)? Well, yes! But \u2018invaluable\u2019 doesn\u2019t mean \u2018not valuable\u2019. Instead, it means \u2018too important to have a mere monetary value\u2019.\nThus, 'invaluable' is the opposite of 'valuable' insofar as something 'invaluable' is 'not able to be valued'. But it doesn't mean 'not of value'!\n\nSummary: Valuable or Invaluable?\nThese words can be confusing, but remember:\n\n\n \tValuable is usually an adjective meaning \u2018worth a lot of money\u2019 or \u2018important\u2019. In addition, people often use the plural noun \u2018valuables\u2019 to refer to small items of high value, such as jewellery.\n \tInvaluable is always an adjective and means \u2018priceless\u2019 or \u2018essential\u2019.\n\nWhen using these words, keep in mind that \u2018invaluable\u2019 doesn\u2019t just mean \u2018worth a lot of money\u2019. Thus, you should only use \u2018invaluable\u2019 when something is priceless or essential, not just \u2018valuable\u2019 in a monetary sense.\nAnd if you'd like any more assistance with your word choices, or any other aspect of your writing, our expert editors are here to help. Why not give our free proofreading trial offer a try today to find out more?