might as well: meaning and explanation

If you say that you might as well do something (or may as well do something), it means that you will do something because there is no better alternative, and doing it will not make any difference to your situation.

For example, imagine you are at a party but don’t know anyone. You aren’t enjoying yourself and don’t feel very comfortable, so you think to yourself: I might as well go home. This means that you don’t especially want to go home, but it is probably a better option than staying at this party.

Have a go at this dictation exercise to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?

Dictation #1

Accent: North America

come with haven't else .
Might well come with – I haven't anything else to .

Discussion question

Write your answers to this question in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you with some feedback:

  • Once I had to catch a flight at 5am. My plan was to pack the night before, go to bed early and then wake up at about 2am to leave for the airport. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very organised and I didn’t finish packing until 1am. I decided that it was too late to go to bed, and that I would probably feel worse if I only slept for an hour. So I decided that I might as well just stay awake – I didn’t really want to stay awake, but there was no better alternative.Try and think of your own example like this – describe a situation which ended with you doing something because there was no better alternative.

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