English Phrase: I Guess So

When NAm.En native sầu speakers say or reply with "I guess (so)", "i guess (that) ..." & "... , I guess.", what are the comtháng 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 lớn be that much of help or that useful with using it in its informal contexts và 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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Houssam BouaziziHoussam Bouazizi
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The verb "to guess" means to 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 home, because he said he was tired, but I don"t know because I didn"t see hlặng leave sầu.

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

Waaaarrghh.com, if you hurt her feelings, I guess you"ll have sầu to lớn go và apologize.

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answered May 12 "19 at 3:24

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Comtháng 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 sầu English speakers.

One example of this misuse can be found in this question about predicting sports outcomes. The OPhường wants to express that, though they are uncertain, they believe sầu 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 and the context, it might indicate that either:

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

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

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Clarifying Common Usage

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

The phrase "I guess", on the other h&, is not generally used in American English lớn 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 to lớn John, so John thinks she is mean. John"s frikết thúc Kate meets Laura for the first time, và has a good first impression of Laura:

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

Note that John is not literally guessing anything. If spoken aloud, "I guess" might be inflected similarly to lớn the way in which Americans inflect questions, or doubt, with the word guess rising slightly in pitch, or rising và falling again rapidly. In this conversation, John is using "I guess" to 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" 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 chưng lớn you?"

Usage 2 - Doubt:

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

Kate: "John, you và Laura have a lot in common."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" 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 to lớn say simply "I guess," indicating his doubt that he and Laura have sầu anything in comtháng with his tone of voice.

Usage 3 - Reluctance/Resistance

Context: immediately following the statements in Usage 2.

Kate: "Waaaarrghh.com, you should at least try khổng lồ 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 lớn 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 khổng lồ say simply "I guess." With a negative tone of voice, this shorter construction could indicate reluctance/resistance to 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 lớn John, so John thinks she is mean. One day, Kate convinces John & Laura 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 taaaarrghh.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 sầu been incorrect. By using "I guess", John is acknowledging a change in his perspective sầu.

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

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