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Would you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between I bet and I'm betting in the sense of believing something will happen? For example:

I bet you will pass the test this time.

I'm betting you will pass the test this time.

Does I'm betting feel less certain?

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  • Does I'm betting feel less certain? No, it doesn't. I find I believe usually used when somebody expressesan opinion about what it could happen.
    – apaderno
    Jul 18, 2022 at 12:23
  • What's the difference between "I believe" and "I'm believing"? I thought only "I believe" is grammatically correct. Jul 18, 2022 at 12:25
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    The Present Continuous isn't used with stative verbs, which include believe, but not bet. I guess it depends whether I bet could be used to mean I have an opinion (which isn't the meaning it has).
    – apaderno
    Jul 18, 2022 at 12:44

2 Answers 2

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They're very close, perhaps indistinguishable in the sense that you're asking about. (Obviously in other contexts, like actual wagering, the two are used differently, as others have pointed out.)

For me, "I'm betting" contains a slightly stronger suggestion that you've thought the thing out that you're betting will happen - i.e., it gives off the impression that you've spent a little time coming to the opinion. It can therefore come off as, I don't know, a bit more serious? This is just my impression - others can feel free to disagree.

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The first sentence is more commonly said. It expresses a feeling of optimism for an event that will occur at some point in the future

I bet you will pass the test this time.

The auxiliary "will" is often used for making predictions, and the verb "bet" is used colloquially to express a stronger certainty than "think" or "believe" could ever achieve.

I bet you anything that Harris will lose the Presidential nominee.
‘I bet this place is really spooky late at night’
‘I bet (that) we’re too late’

"I am betting" is grammatical, but it's more likely to suggest that money is being exchanged. If the OP had provided the context, it would've been easier to confirm or dismiss this interpretation.

A: Where's Jack?
B: He's making bets. OR
B: With his mates. They're betting on who will win tonight's match.

Collins Dictionary says,

You use expressions such as 'I bet', 'I'll bet', and 'you can bet' to indicate that you are sure something is true.

Thus “betting” may suggest making a bet with someone or on something while expressions with “bet” are more likely to suggest surety. But if someone wanted to emphasise the immediacy of something, then "betting" is appropriate too.

“I'm betting that nothing's gonna change.”

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    I might use 'I'm betting' about a contemporary situation even if I have not actually placed a wager, e.g. I'm betting Joe won't be able to manage his new Rottweiler, or that the Conservatives will elect an even more stupid leader than their last one. Jul 18, 2022 at 15:26
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    @MichaelHarvey I (Northeast US) might say "I'm betting that won't happen" if I have somehow relied on that guess. Not necessarily that I have put money on it, but that I have somehow acquired a stake in the outcome that aligns with my expectation. If I have nothing to lose or gain, but just wanted to put my expectation on the record, I would not use the continuous.
    – A. R.
    Jul 18, 2022 at 16:14
  • Those are really helpful comments. Thank you. Would you please tell me what impression you get when you hear "I'm expecting you do finish the job by Friday" as opposed "I expect you to finish the job by Friday." Jul 20, 2022 at 16:34
  • @DmytroO'Hope you have to ping a user to communicate with them. I'm presuming the comments you mentioned are by Michael Harvey or Andrew Ray.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 20, 2022 at 16:58
  • @Andrew Ray Yes, they are Jul 20, 2022 at 17:31

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