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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 575
    #1

    should/might as well

    I would like to know the difference between "1" and "2".
    1. You should take my car - I'm not using it today.
    2. You might as well take my car - I'm not using it today.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #2

    Re: should/might as well

    1. You should take my car - I'm not using it today.
    2. You might as well take my car - I'm not using it today.

    "You should take my car" is more like "advice" or "advocating" for some choice than the second sentence is. Telling people what they "should" do is to give them advice or to advocate for a course of action.

    "Might as well" implies that there is an option to "do" or "not do" something, and that doing it is the best option according to the speaker. It suggests a background idea of "might as well do this as not do it," meaning that it would be better to do sth than not do it.

    "Might as well" is less "advocating" for an action -- it's more "shoulder-shrugging" than "should" is.

    "You should do this" means that I urge or suggest or advise you to do it.

    "You might as well do this" means that you can do it or not, your call, but I think it would be your best choice.

    But really, in practice there would not be much difference, and a speaker might use both expressions even in a short conversation.

    Speaker A: "You might as well take my car. I won't be using it."
    Speaker B: "Oh, I don't think I'll need a car, but thanks."
    Speaker A: "No, you should take it. It's supposed to rain and you might as well have your own transportation as end up waiting for a bus."

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