may/might as well

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How does on say "may as well / might as well" as in "it may as well be fake, but i still like to use it" (that sentence is invented and unimportant, but demonstrates the purspore of the phrase)

Im writing a presentation currently in spanish and perhaps my fault is that i am translating what i think in english into spanish as opposed to getting into the spanish mindset- however my spanish colloquial phrase knowledge isnt very extensive, beyond repeated "como... comoooo....."

10680 views
updated FEB 26, 2009
posted by brop123

20 Answers

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Thanks for the advice. That has probably saved me from some pretty embarrassing situations.

James Santiago said:

Robert Austin said:

Is "más vale" similar to "Me vale"?

No! Be careful how you use "me vale," as it can be pretty strong language. It's more like "I don't give a damn." "Más vale" just means what it looks like, "worth more," that is, "it would be better if," "you'd be better off if," and so so.

>

updated FEB 26, 2009
posted by Robert-Austin
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Robert Austin said:

Is "más vale" similar to "Me vale"?

No! Be careful how you use "me vale," as it can be pretty strong language. It's more like "I don't give a damn." "Más vale" just means what it looks like, "worth more," that is, "it would be better if," "you'd be better off if," and so so.

updated FEB 26, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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Is "más vale" similar to "Me vale"'

updated FEB 26, 2009
posted by Robert-Austin
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OK, thanks.

updated FEB 26, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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Would it still make sense if you left it in the tú form'

If you're going to use the tú form, I wouldn't say it in the imperfect. I would use the imperative instead.

Solo es un cristal. Tíralo, más vale.
Ríndete, más vale. Nunca vas a arreglarlo.

I usually hear "más vale" said afterwards but I guess you could say it either way.

updated FEB 26, 2009
posted by LadyDi
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Interesting how the subject changes from second person in English to first person in Spanish there. Would it still make sense if you left it in the tú form?

Solo es un cristal. Más vale, lo tirabas.
Más vale, te rendías. Nunca vas a arreglarlo.

updated FEB 26, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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It just dawned on me that "más vale" can in fact be used as an equivalent for "might as well" as James had pointed out. I had spoken too soon yesterday when I said I wasn't familiar with it.

*It's nothing but glass! You might as well throw it away.
Solo es un cristal. Yo lo tiraba más vale.

You might as well give up. You're never going to fix it.
Yo más vale, me rendía. Nunca vas a arreglarlo.*

updated FEB 26, 2009
posted by LadyDi
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Thanks for the explanation. Like LadyDi, I always hear this form used, but I can never remember to use it myself. It seems...foreign to me. However, we have a slightly similar construction in colloquial English, which is particularly popular among sports announcers.

"If he catches that ball, he runs for a touchdown."
"If he makes that play, the man on third base doesn't score."

Both of the above refer to hypothetical past actions and their consequences, but the present tense is used. This form also seems foreign to me, even though it's very common. I guess it's just me, hehe. I'll work on the Spanish after I master the English.

updated FEB 25, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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James Santiago said:

Yo que tú, me rendía. Yo que tú, me rendería.

That's a very subtle one! Remind me to include it in the advanced Spanish section, if I ever finish it.

To me, the first one uses the non-verifiable mental recall that characterizes the imperfect: a wannabe picture of something that can't be settled as a fact yet (because it is not finished, it is not real, whatever...). This sounds very detached, almost like it has never has any impact on one's reality. Just the voice of your imagination or things that you recall.

The second sentence, on the other hand, offers a potential (personal) alternative to a real situation. It sounds more real, more solid, less subjective, more threatening,... more real!!

updated FEB 25, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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I do.

See this discussion. I'm fairly positive about this one.

<http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php't=1184537>

updated FEB 25, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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is the second one correct, and if so, is there any difference in nuance or in frequency of usage'

I think, technically, the second one (conditional=rendiría) is more correct. However, in speech, I think people tend to use the imperfect. I hear it used so often that I find myself wondering a lot which one is right. I hear the correct tense used in telenovelas though.

Here we go again! I don't think that accent is necessary on que.

I do. wink

updated FEB 25, 2009
posted by LadyDi
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I'm not familiar with "más vale".

Really? I'm very surprised by that.

And if one only said "might as well," the "loose" equivalent in Spanish would be "por qué no."

Yes, I agree with that.

-Wanna go have a drink?
-Might as well.
-¿Te apetece tomar una copa?
-¿Por qué no?

No tiene más qué hacer.

Here we go again! I don't think that accent is necessary on que.

updated FEB 25, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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Ah, nice. I hadn't thought of using "if I were you" in this sense, but I see that it fits.

One question, though. I know that the imperfecto is often used in a conditional way, as here, but of the following two versions:

Yo que tú, me rendía.
Yo que tú, me rendería.

is the second one correct, and if so, is there any difference in nuance or in frequency of usage'

updated FEB 25, 2009
posted by 00bacfba
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Thanks, now I get it:

Something may / might (well) happen = Igual ocurre algo.

But:

It's nothing but glass! You might as well throw it away.
Solo es un cristal. Yo que tú, lo tiraba.

You might as well give up. You're never going to fix it.
Yo que tú, me rendía. Nunca vas a arreglarlo.

updated FEB 25, 2009
posted by lazarus1907
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"Might well" is the same as "might" or "may" here. It merely implies uncertainty.

Something might happen.
Something might well happen.
Something may happen.

All these mean the same, with extremely slight differences in nuance, if any.

"Might as well," on the other hand, means "it makes no difference if," or "the outcome will be the same if," and so on. It is also used to mean "(you) would be better off if." That's the case when más vale would be used.

-I paid a thousand dollars for this diamond ring.
-It's nothing but glass! You might as well throw it away.

-I've been trying to fix this car all day.
-You might as well give up. You're never going to fix it.

These two phrases are not interchangeable, as the meaning changes significantly with one or the other.

If those two Spanish phrases mean the same to you, then how would you make this distinction'

updated FEB 25, 2009
posted by 00bacfba