The context of the conversation is about auditing classes at a university...

Woman: Because anyone who is taking the class for a grade, for credit, puts in a lot of time preparing for it, doing the reading and assignments; whereas people who aren't, they might not be as well prepared. And that would have affected the quality of class discussion.

My question is as follows...

Does she intend to express that they might not be as well prepared as people who take the class for a grade.


The expression that they might not be as well prepared is the same as they might as well not be prepared


3 Answers 3


It means:

"Does she intend to express that they might not be as well prepared as people who take the class for a grade."

In this context she is using 'credit' as an uncountable noun.

In the same sense as "If she did most of the work she should get the credit".

  • Is it like ellipsis in linguistics? I mean dropping second as and the rest of words. Oct 29 at 14:44
  • 1
    Yes. It would be pointless to repeat, and would slow readers down, and could even momentarily confuse them.
    – PRL75
    Oct 29 at 14:51
  • You also answer my question to "Why does she say for credit instead of for a credit or for credits"?" Appreciate that. Oct 30 at 6:03

You are mixing up several different meanings of as well.

Might as well means something like essentially or "doesn't make any difference"; if you say "I might as well not even study" it means that it makes no difference if you study.

The other is using as as a comparative (like "this book is just as good as yours") and well as an adverb meaning good or satisfactory.

In your example sentence, when the woman says "...might not be as well prepared" she means "might not be prepared as satisfactorily (as people who do the work)".

You can tell the difference in meaning by where as well is used in the sentence and whether it's next to might or whether it's next to an adjective or participle.

  • might as well not be prepared: phrase meaning "essentially"
  • might not be prepared as well: comparative

Reference: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/grammar/british-grammar/as-well-as

  • Yes, you are right. I was a bit confused by where as well is used. Just too similar to tell. Oct 29 at 14:49

(1) She says that people who aren't (taking the class for a grade) may not be as well prepared as those who are.

It definitely doesn't mean the same as They might as well not be prepared, which would mean that being prepared makes no difference. (Not being prepared would probably be as good as being prepared.)

(2) I don't know.

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