English phrase: i guess so

When NAm.En native speakers say or reply with "I guess (so)", "i guess (that) ..." and "... , 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 khổng lồ use it informally in these different contexts? I didn"t really find any of the good online English dictionaries out there khổng lồ 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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dwilli
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Houssam BouaziziHoussam Bouazizi
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The verb "lớn guess" means khổng lồ 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 sầu that what we"re correct.

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

It"s also used when the speaker doesn"t want to lớn commit fully to lớn 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 lớn soften the tone of a svào suggestion that is not likely lớn be received enthusiastically.

Wmichael-shanks.com, if you hurt her feelings, I guess you"ll have to lớn go and apologize.


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Comtháng misuseIn American English, the phrase "I guess" frequently does not have the same literal meaning as the verb "to 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 khổng lồ 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, và 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", and avoiding "I guess" unless you want khổng lồ use one of its useful subtexts.

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Clarifying Common Usage

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

The phrase "I guess", on the other hvà, is not generally used in American English khổng lồ 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 lớn 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 friover Kate meets Laura for the first time, & has a good first impression of Laura:

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

cảnh báo that John is not literally guessing anything. If spoken aloud, "I guess" might be inflected similarly lớn the way in which Americans inflect questions, or doubt, with the word guess rising slightly in pitch, or rising and falling again rapidly. In this conversation, John is using "I guess" 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" khổng lồ introduce uncertainty inkhổng lồ his agreement, producing the effect of a "softened" disagreement. Hearing John"s answer, Laura might reply "You don"t think so? What did she do lớn you?"

Usage 2 - Doubt:

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

Kate: "John, you & Laura have 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 lớn 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 và Laura have anything in common with his tone of voice.

Usage 3 - Reluctance/Resistance

Context: immediately following the statements in Usage 2.

Kate: "Wmichael-shanks.com, you should at least try lớn get to 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 to 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 lớn say simply "I guess." With a negative sầu tone of voice, this shorter construction could indicate reluctance/resistance lớn 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 khổng lồ John, so John thinks she is mean. One day, Kate convinces John & Laura to go for a hike with her. Once they both get over their shyness, they have sầu a really great time. After Laura goes trang chính, John might tmichael-shanks.com Kate

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

lưu ý 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.

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


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