Wednesday, May 20, 2009

might as well

Sometimes you're browsing around a store with no plans of buying anything. Then you see a shirt that's on sale for 50% off. You don't want to spend any money, but it's such a cool shirt, and it's 50% off! So you think "I might as well buy it."

You're on a trip; you've been doing a lot of sightseeing and at the end of the day, you're completely exhausted. You just want to get back to your hotel room to rest. On your way back to the hotel, however, you see a museum that's open for another hour. You don't feel like going in because you're so tired, but because you're on vacation, and because you're already at that place, you say "we might as well go in. We're already here."

Might as well is a useful phrase to know. It means it's a good idea to do this because we're in the perfect situation or we should take advantage of this situation and do it. You usually say this when you're not sure if you want to do something, but you decide to do it because the situation is just right.

You can follow might as well with a verb: If we're going to Chinatown later, I might as well buy some fish. Fish is very inexpensive there.

You can also say might as well to end a sentence or by itself: I'm thinking of driving to San Diego when I'm in Los Angeles next month. I'm renting a car, so I might as well.

Sometimes people use might as well to be sarcastic and often also to be dramatic: If the price of gas keeps rising, I won't be able to afford to have a car. I might as well sell my car now.

This expression can be tricky to put into practice at first. The key, of course, is to try to use it as much as possible.

like this:

A: Should we get some milk? We still have a little in the fridge.
B: Ah, might as well, since we're already here.
A: Ok, I'll go get it while you choose which cereal to buy.
B: Ok thanks. While you're there, you might as well get some yogurt. We're completely out.
A: What kind do you want?
B: Choose whichever one you like.
A: Ok, I'll be right back.

...after grocery shopping.
A: Oh no! You got a parking ticket.
B: Oh great! I can't afford to pay for this. They might as well take my car away.

completely out - none left at all
great! - this is said sarcastically about something horrible

That's it for today. Don't forget to practice. If you have any questions, write in your comments or start a discussion on Facebook.

All the best.

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