Can you guess how old I am?

What tense should I use with guess?

I guess you are around 30.

I am guessing you are around 30.

  • 1
    When you use I'm guessing, you have to take your time and stroke your chin. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Apr 7 '17 at 19:46

Both of your options are correct, though we'd probably contract the "I am" to "I'm".

Though, after thinking about it for a while, I probably wouldn't use either of them.

If someone asked me "Can you guess how old I am?", I'd probably reply:

I'd guess you're around 30.
Around 30?

The first is the contracted form of "I would guess". The second is to point out that (outside schoolwork) you're pretty unlikely to verbally respond to someone by repeating the subject, you just say your guess. It's generally not necessary to say the whole thing.

Now, if someone told me "Guess how old I am", then I'd likely respond:

I guess [that] you're around 30.


Simple present tense in English has a "narrative" flavor to it, where you would use it to describe to someone else what is happening, or announcing someone's moves in "real-time."

When you tell someone I guess X, the context is usually that someone else has presented a challenge to you. Essentially you've been drawn into playing a little game, and in games, announcing your moves in a narrative fashion in "real-time" is what the context calls for.

That being said, saying I am guessing X is not wrong. I am guessing would be more appropriate if for some reason the process of guessing is not an instant thing or if the person doing the guessing is thinking about it.

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