Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Has anyone ever said, “You bet!” to you?

Did you wonder what they meant?

Today you’ll find out exactly what this means and how natives use it so that you can respond appropriately and connect with the person when you hear it.

Let’s start today with a role play:

L: Hey so Michelle are we still on for the basketball game on Tuesday? The Nicks are gonna take this one.

M: Yeah you bet. We’ll meet you guys outside the Garden at 7 pm.

In this case what did “you bet” mean? 

It meant “yes!” or “for sure” or “of course.”

Here is a question from a listener:

Hi Lindsay,

I’m one of your regular listeners. I really want to thank you, Michelle, and Jessica for making this amazing podcast. I have a couple of questions that I have been delaying to ask you for a long time. I will ask a question about “you bet” this time. I searched through search bar on website but I couldn’t find an episode about this phrase. I have a general idea about what ” you bet” means. But here are two of the conversations I have heard and found confusing:

Conversation 1:

  • Me: Nick, can you give these keys to Mary?
  • Nick: You bet.
  • me: (after a pause) ok. thank you!

Conversation 2: 

The other day, I heard this conversation on the public radio. They were finishing up a phone interview:

  • Interviewer: Ok John, thanks for joining us!
  • John: You bet.

I hope you can cover this phrase on podcast. I have many more questions to ask!

Thank you very much in advance!


 Great question!  

The phrase “You bet” is a very natural, common term and you want to know what it means and how to use it to connect.

Let’s look at other episodes we have done that are related like Episode 715. 

In that episode we talked about the difference between “I bet” and “I imagine” and we learned that when we say “I bet” we are making a prediction such as “I bet the sun will come out by the time this recording is over.”

In this context “you bet” is related but we are turning it around and the meaning ends up being quite different.


What does it mean:

  • You can bet on it
  • You can be sure
  • It’s guaranteed
  • Sure thing
  • I promise
  • No doubt
  • Absolutely
  • 100%
  • You can count on me

What’s the feeling behind it?

  • Friendly, positive
  • Ensuring someone of something, offering good service
  • Being attentive to someone
  • Assuaging their concerns


Use this phrase an observe others using it.

Try some of the alternatives.

It’s a good language skill to be able to reassure people.

It makes you seem positive, reliable, and optimistic and that helps you build better connections.

What questions do you have?

Let us know in the comments below.

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