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I guess so

22:01, 01/04/2021
When NAm.En native speakers say or reply with "I guess (so)", "i guess (that) ..." & "... , I guess.", what are the common different ways in which they use the word "guess" here as a verb in the aforementioned contexts?

I mean, can you help me with fully mastering how to use it informally in these different contexts? I didn"t really find any of the good online English dictionaries out there to be that much of help or that useful with using it in its informal contexts & the other good online English dictionaries probably wouldn"t be either.

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So perhaps you could provide any tips you think that might better help with that.


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edited May 12 "19 at 3:09
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dwilli
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Houssam BouaziziHoussam Bouazizi
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The verb "khổng lồ guess" means lớn provide an answer without knowing whether it"s the right answer.

Usually, when we use the word in the way you"re describing, it"s because we"re not sure about what we"re saying but we believe that what we"re correct.

Where"s George? I guess he went trang chủ, because he said he was tired, but I don"t know because I didn"t see him leave.

It"s also used when the speaker doesn"t want to commit fully to their answer for some reason. They might know what the answer is but they won"t admit that they know.

John, you hurt Sarah"s feelings. Did you know that? Yeah, I guess so.

Another use is a to soften the tone of a strong suggestion that is not likely to lớn be received enthusiastically.

Wgmailwireless.com, if you hurt her feelings, I guess you"ll have lớn go and apologize.


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edited May 12 "19 at 4:16
answered May 12 "19 at 3:24
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Common misuseIn American English, the phrase "I guess" frequently does not have sầu the same literal meaning as the verb "lớn guess", và so is often misused by nonnative English speakers.

One example of this misuse can be found in this question about predicting sports outcomes. The OP wants to lớn express that, though they are uncertain, they believe their team will win the game. In American English, we would generally use "I think", or even "I bet they will win the game," indicating that the speaker feels this outcome is likely, without adding any additional subtext. (Note: "Bet" is used nonliterally, here, & does not imply making an actual wager.)

As discussed below, the phrase "I guess" often implies a subtext of doubt, disagreement, or dissatisfaction, transforming or even reversing the meaning of the sentence. Saying "I guess they will win the game," generally does not mean that you are uncertain about what will occur, but think they might win. Rather, the sentence is focused on its subtext. Depending on the speaker"s tone of voice & the context, it might indicate that either:

speaker is surprised that they will winspeaker disappointed that they will win

Avoid this common misuse by preferring "I (think/believe/bet/suspect/am almost certain) they will win", và avoiding "I guess" unless you want khổng lồ use one of its useful subtexts.

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Clarifying Comtháng Usage

The verb "khổng lồ guess" means "lớn give sầu an answer khổng lồ a particular question when you bởi not have all the facts và so cannot be certain if you are correct" (Cambridge) or loosely "to lớn select the correct answer despite uncertainty".

The phrase "I guess", on the other hvà, is not generally used in American English to describe the process of guessing. Rather, the phrase "I guess" implies some kind of internal discovery, conflict, or disagreement. This is a challenging idea to grasp, so we"ll proceed by example.

Usage 1 - Disagreement:

Context: Laura has never been friendly lớn John, so John thinks she is mean. John"s friend Kate meets Laura for the first time, & has a good first impression of Laura:

Kate: "Laura is so cool!"John: "Sure, I guess."

lưu ý that John is not literally guessing anything. If spoken aloud, "I guess" might be inflected similarly khổng lồ the way in which Americans inflect questions, or doubt, with the word guess rising slightly in pitch, or rising & falling again rapidly. In this conversation, John is using "I guess" to lớn politely express doubt or disagreement with Kate"s opinion.

If he replied "No, Laura"s really mean," that might be perceived as confrontational. Instead, he uses "I guess" to lớn introduce uncertainty into his agreement, producing the effect of a "softened" disagreement. Hearing John"s answer, Laura might reply "You don"t think so? What did she vì lớn you?"

Usage 2 - Doubt:

Context: Laura has still never been friendly lớn John, so John thinks she is mean. John"s friover Kate tgmailwireless.coms hyên that Laura has been helping her with her homework a lot lately.

Kate: "John, you and Laura have sầu a lot in comtháng."John: "I guess that could be true, but she"s always talking about dumb stuff."

Though John is "giving an answer without having all the facts" here, the subtext of his response is critical. By using "I guess", he is not saying that he suspects Kate might be right. To the contrary, he is using "I guess" to imply that he doubts Katie"s statement is true. The second phrase in this example clarifies his intention. In the right context, it would be correct for John lớn say simply "I guess," indicating his doubt that he & Laura have sầu anything in common with his tone of voice.

Usage 3 - Reluctance/Resistance

Context: immediately following the statements in Usage 2.

Kate: "Wgmailwireless.com, you should at least try lớn get khổng lồ know Laura better before you judge her."John: "I guess so, she just really bugs me."

Here, John is expressing that Katie might be right, while expressing resistance khổng lồ the idea of getting lớn know Laura better. As in Usage 2, the second phrase in this example clarifies John"s intention. In the right spoken context it would be correct for John to say simply "I guess." With a negative tone of voice, this shorter construction could indicate reluctance/resistance khổng lồ Kate"s suggestion. With a positive sầu tone, it could indicate wholehearted agreement, with a subtext of... discovery!

Usage 4 - discovery:

Context: Laura has never been nice to lớn John, so John thinks she is mean. One day, Kate convinces John & Laura to lớn go for a hike with her. Once they both get over their shyness, they have sầu a really great time. After Laura goes home, John might tgmailwireless.com Kate

"Wow! I guess Laura really is a nice person after all!

Note that again, John is not guessing. Rather, John has realized, based on new knowledge, that his prior assessment of Laura may have been incorrect. By using "I guess", John is acknowledging a change in his perspective sầu.

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A similar usage is discussed in this question, in which "I guess" is used to indicate a conflict between a currently-held expectation, & a possible schedule change. In this type of usage, "I guess" is used to indicate a significant change - of perspective sầu, of plans, etc.


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