10 English Phrases for Guessing & Estimating

YouTube video

Everyday English Speaking Course

#1 – Off the top of my head, I think it’s $200.

“Off the top of my head” means you are making an estimate in that moment, without checking the information to make sure it’s completely accurate.

#2 – Knowing him, he’ll be late.

Use the phrase “Knowing _______, _______ will…” to make an educated guess about something that will probably happen based on what you already know about the person, place, or thing.

#3 – If I had to take a guess, I’d say she’s 35.

Use the phrase “I’d say” to give your opinion/estimate.

#4 – It’s difficult to say, but I think…

Use this phrase to emphasize that the guess is difficult to make accurately.

#5 – I wouldn’t be surprised if…

Use this phrase to say that something is possible or probable: “My sister has been complaining a lot about her job lately. I wouldn’t be surprised if she decided to quit soon.”

#6 – I bet…

Use this phrase when you have more certainty about something happening. Example: “I knew all the answers to the English test. I bet I got a good grade.”

#7 – We’re talking maybe 40 people.

The phrase “we’re talking maybe” is an informal way to give a general estimate.

#8 – It’s about/around ten miles.

The words “about” and “around” show that the number is an estimate, NOT a perfectly exact number

#9 – It’s somewhere in the ballpark of $1.5 million.

This idiomatic expression indicates that the real number is in the same general area as the guess. This phrase is most often used with money.

#10 – Your guess is as good as mine.

This phrase means “I have no idea” – so any guess is equally likely to be correct or incorrect.

Learn practical spoken English for daily life:

10 English Phrases for Guessing & Estimating Espresso English

Learn more about the Speaking Course