Word Choice: Guessed vs. Guest
  • 3-minute read
  • 2nd August 2021

Word Choice: Guessed vs. Guest

The words “guessed” and “guest” sound quite similar, but they are spelled differently. Since these terms also have very different meanings, you’ll want to use them correctly in your writing. Check out our guide below to find out how.

Guessed (Made an Estimate)

“Guessed” is the past tense of the verb “guess.” Therefore, it means “estimated or formed an opinion about something without sufficient evidence.” For example:

The weather is unpredictable, but she guessed it would rain today.

He couldn’t figure out the answer, so he just guessed.

If someone has made an assumption about something or approximated something, then, “guessed” will be the correct spelling.

Guest (A Visitor)

As a noun, “guest” can refer to a person invited into the home of another:

Because her home was so small, her guest had to sleep on the couch.

He had been their lifelong friend, so he was always a welcome guest.

It can also mean “a person attending an event”:

The couple had more than 200 guests at their wedding.

They were VIP guests at the concert, so they got to meet the band.

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As a verb, “guest” refers to the act of appearing as a guest:

She guested on several talk shows while promoting her new novel.

The singer had several other artists guest on his new album.

“Guest” is also used as an adjective that implies that something has been provided for or done by a guest. For example, we could say:

The guest bedroom had been renovated recently.

She wrote a guest column for the newspaper.

In whichever form you use it, this word is always spelled with a “t.”

Summary: Guessed or Guest?

Although these words sound the same, they have significantly different meanings:

  • Guessed is a past-tense verb that means “made an estimate.”
  • Guest can be a noun that means “visitor to a home or event,” a verb that refers to the act of appearing as a guest, or an adjective that refers to something that is provided for or done by a guest.

If you struggle to tell these words apart, the key is to remember that “guessed” is a past-tense verb, so it ends “-ed” like other regular verbs in English (e.g., danced, smiled, asked). If you’re referring to an estimate or approximation that has already happened, then, you will know the spelling to use is “guessed.”

For situations that involve a visitor, meanwhile, the correct spelling will be “guest” with a “t,” no matter whether you’re using a noun, verb, or adjective.

Hopefully, this will help you avoid mixing up these words in your writing. And if you’d like more advice on your spelling or word choice, try our proofreading service by uploading a trial document for free today!

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