Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. azhu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 77
    #1

    Unhappy "may as well...as..."

    What does "may as well...as..."imply? Is it just offering an option, or suggesting a negative meaning?

    e.g. You may as well stay home as go out with them.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,919
    #2

    Re: "may as well...as..."

    Quote Originally Posted by azhu View Post
    What does "may as well...as..."imply? Is it just offering an option, or suggesting a negative meaning?

    e.g. You may as well stay home as go out with them.
    In that context it simply means that going out has no benefit over staying in, and vice versa. Neither one is better than the other. Whichever one you do, the (unspecified) end result will be the same.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. azhu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 77
    #3

    Re: "may as well...as..."

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In that context it simply means that going out has no benefit over staying in, and vice versa. Neither one is better than the other. Whichever one you do, the (unspecified) end result will be the same.
    So, does that mean in whatever context, saying"may as well..as..." is neutrally offering an option which is no better and no worse than the original choice? Because in my textbook (not written by English speaker), the explanation for this phrase is "offering a better choice", but I couldn't see why is that. The explanation is confusing me. Just want to make sure how to use.
    Thanks.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,919
    #4

    Re: "may as well...as..."

    I suppose I can see the possibility of it offering a better choice, for example:

    - John wants me to go to the cinema tonight.
    - That sounds like fun. Are you going to go?
    - I'm not sure. It will cost 10 to see the film at the cinema, but there is a very good film on TV tonight.
    - Oh. Well, you may as well stay at home then!

    In that situation, the fourth line does suggest that it's probably a better idea to stay at home because the person will still watch a film, but it won't cost 10.

    However, here is the example slightly changed:

    - John wants me to go to the cinema tonight.
    - That sounds like fun. Are you going to go?
    - I'm not sure. It's free entry at the cinema tonight so it won't cost me anything and it is a good film. But there's an equally good film on TV tonight too.
    - So you may just as well stay at home as go out.

    In that example, there is no real difference. He will see a good film whether he goes out or not. The only difference is that to stay home and watch a film he does not have to bother getting ready to go out, put his shoes on, catch a bus into town etc etc. However, from the conversation, we have no way of knowing whether that bothers him at all so we can't tell if staying at home is the better option.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. azhu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 77
    #5

    Re: "may as well...as..."

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I suppose I can see the possibility of it offering a better choice, for example:

    ......
    That was a very explicit explanation and examples, thank you very much! I think I can fully understand this phrase now.

  6. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #6

    Re: "may as well...as..."

    This format can also be used (and is quite often) to offer a hyperbolically improbable alternative, for comic effect: 'You may as well stand under a cold shower tearing up 100 notes as race ocean-going yachts.'

    b

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-Jul-2012, 19:53
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Jun-2012, 17:55
  3. Defining "Street," "Road," "Avenue," "Boulevard"
    By ahumphreys in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 31-Dec-2010, 08:14
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2008, 08:27
  5. confusing words "expressed" or "express" and "named" or"names"
    By Dawood Usmani in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2007, 19:33

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •