Dollar’s or Dollars’ or Dollars Worth?

The term “a dollar’s worth” indicates that something is worth one dollar. E.g., “I want a dollar’s worth of ham.” Furthermore, “dollars’ worth” specifies values of more than one dollar. E.g., “I bought ten dollars’ worth of candy.” However, “dollars worth” is also correct without an apostrophe.

The following table provides an overview of the different versions:

SingularDollars worth
PluralDollars worth
Singular possessiveDollar’s worth
Plural possessiveDollars’ worth

Notice that the singular and plural forms are both dollars worth. The reason is that what you add in front of dollars worth determines whether it is singular or plural. If you add “a” or “one,” it is singular. Whereas if you add “two” or a higher number, it is plural.

Also, here are some examples of the forms:

  • Singular: A dollars worth of rice is almost 1kg.
  • Plural: Twenty dollars worth of meat is all we need for a good BBQ.
  • Singular possessive: A dollar’s worth of flour is approximately 750g
  • Plural possessive: She bought ninety dollars’ worth of clothes in one weekend.

There is no difference between the singular version and the singular possessive versions, i.e., you can use them interchangeably with no change in meaning.

Hence the plural and plural possessive are also the same. When you are writing, you can choose which version you use. However, it is best to be consistent throughout any piece of writing.

Please keep reading the rest of the article to learn more about how to use the word worth with dollars in a possessive format.

We’ll also show you many example sentences to make it easier for you to understand the rules.

Dollar’s Worth

You can use the term a dollar’s worth to say that something has a worth or value equivalent to a single dollar.

Therefore, you use it to describe the monetary value of quantities of things, such as food or materials.

For example:

  • I only bought a dollar’s worth of paper because I only had a dollar on me.
  • I just need a dollar’s worth of candy for my little cousin.
  • Can you give me a dollar’s worth of quarters for the parking meter?
  • We donated a dollar’s worth of old toys to the charity sale.
  • She requested a dollar’s worth of stamps from the counter.
  • At the carnival, a dollar’s worth of popcorn wasn’t enough for the entire movie.

Furthermore, in this format, it can never mean more than a single dollar’s worth because the structure is singular. However, you can add other words to indicate slightly different amounts.

  • He gave me more than a dollar’s worth of food even though I only paid a dollar.
  • She handed the homeless man a meal that looked to be more than a dollar’s worth, displaying her generosity.
  • Even though I dropped just a coin into the machine, it dispensed more than a dollar’s worth of candy.
  • The soda machine malfunctioned, providing her with more than a dollar’s worth of drinks for her single coin.

Now, let’s have a closer look at how to use dollars’ worth in a sentence.

Dollars’ Worth

The term dollars’ worth is the plural possessive way to express that something has a value of a plural number of dollars.

Therefore, you use dollars’ worth to communicate any number of dollars above one.

As shown in these examples:

  • I bought ten dollars’ worth of presents for the Secret Santa in our office.
  • The court sentenced the man for stealing ninety dollars’ worth of clothes from a store.
  • I purchased fifty dollars’ worth of books during the sale.
  • She bought three hundred dollars’ worth of supplies for her art project.
  • We collected over a thousand dollars’ worth of donations for the charity.
  • He invested several thousand dollars’ worth of his savings into stocks.
  • They sold nearly five hundred dollars’ worth of cookies during the fundraiser.

Lastly, let’s see how to correctly use dollars worth.

Dollars Worth

You can also use the term dollars worth without an apostrophe, which is pretty standard.

In this case, you are using the plural form of dollar, which is dollars.

  • The thieves stole millions of dollars worth of diamonds in the robbery.
  • He bought thousands of dollars worth of accessories for his new car.
  • The company secured contracts amounting to billions of dollars worth of projects for the upcoming year.
  • The charity fundraiser managed to raise tens of thousands of dollars worth of donations in just one night.

Most dictionaries tend to say that you should include the apostrophe when it is a possessive sentence. However, using the term dollars worth without the apostrophe has been as common as the version with the apostrophe since the 1970s.

It is often the case in English that a form people once deemed incorrect becomes popular in terms of usage until most people do not consider it an error.

Furthermore, there are cases where you can use the same word order, yet the sentence is not possessive.

  • How much is twenty dollars worth in euros?

Which is the same as saying:

  • What is the value of twenty dollars in euros?

In addition, it is also possible to change the word order a little to use dollars and worth slightly differently.

  • I bought some jewelry that is worth thousands of dollars.
  • The food for the event is worth two hundred dollars.