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Autant qu'on sache, il pourrait tout aussi bien y avoir la porte aux enfers au coin de la rue !

{compared to saying}: Autant qu'on sache, il pourrait y avoir la porte aux enfers au coin de la rue !

UPDATE:

I just swapped in a more emphatic phrase "la porte aux enfers", since it seems to fit much better to be used with this "pourrait tout aussi bien" expression.

To my mind, the phrase "pourrait tout aussi bien" serves to indicate that finding a certain something on the street corner is just as unlikely as finding something completely out of the ordinary like "la porte aux enfers".

Is it just me, but the "pourrait tout aussi bien" seems like an emphatic and sarcastic expression that serves to illustrate the impossibility of a certain imagined situation by comparing it to another totally implausible situation such as "finding a gate to the netherworld just around the corner".

It just occurred to me, but I wonder if this expression is close to "may/might just as well" in English?

Example:

Do you actually believe that she'll say "yes" to your proposal? You might just as well buy a single lottery ticket and hope you'll hit the jackpot!

  • I'd say there's no real difference between the two of those expressions. The first one fits in an argumentation ; the second one is more neutral. – Ksyqo Nov 4 '16 at 15:13
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You have the habit of often answering your own questions, like "If feel like it's this, am I right ?". Not that it's a bad thing !

Yet again you're right. There might just as well be is a very good translation of "Il pourrait tout aussi bien y avoir".

  • So in the lottery ticket example, do you use "tu pourrais tout aussi bien espérer ..." with a hint of sarcasm and exaggeration? Or is it more like "tu peux tout aussi bien espérer ..."? Merci. – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Nov 7 '16 at 13:10
  • @LUNA Hmm, actually the sarcastic side of "might as well be" doesn't really translate in French with that. It's just that in "il pourrait tout aussi bien" vs "il pourrait", the tout aussi bien translates well with might as well, but the phrase is not used as much in French as in English. – Teleporting Goat Nov 7 '16 at 13:39
  • @LUNA The second sentence is actually not that easy to translate in French, it's a very English construction. – Teleporting Goat Nov 7 '16 at 13:41
  • Merci. Perhaps, the use of "autant" comes in handy? : "Autant espérer gagner le gros lot ..." = "You might just as well hope ..." – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Nov 7 '16 at 13:49
  • @LUNA Yes, that's what I was thinking of, but I couldn't make a complete sentence ^^ You can also use "t'as qu'à" to be sarcastical : "T'as qu'à acheter un ticket de loto, t'aura plus de chance de gagner" – Teleporting Goat Nov 7 '16 at 14:08
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Autant qu'on sache, il pourrait tout aussi bien y avoir une boulangerie hors du commun au coin de la rue !

1) There could also very well be a bakery

vs : Autant qu'on sache, il pourrait y avoir une boulangerie hors du commun au coin de la rue !

2) There could be a bakery

That is the difference.

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