These three micro-dictations all contain the expression ‘a ballpark guess’. Complete each exercise, and then try to guess the meaning/usage of the expression from the context.

Dictation #1

Accent: Ireland

$10 , .
We’re costs by $10 per , that’s just .
We’re our manufacturing costs go up by $10 per unit, but that’s just a estimate.

Dictation #2

Accent: Australia

Could design team ballpark cost of ?
Could you the design team to a ballpark of the cost of modifications ?

Dictation #3

Accent: Scotland

, , .
I’m on the , but it in , yes.
I’m 100% sure on the figure, but it be in that , yes.

a ballpark guess: meaning and explanation

We provide a ballpark figure/estimate when we are making a guess at a number or amount, but think that our guess is close to the correct answer. e.g. My ballpark estimate is that there will be around 1500 attendees at the keynote speech.

One reason for using this idiom is to make it clear that your guess is not intended to be fully accurate, but is probably close. This is a more cautious way of estimating.

This idiom can be used after making a guess or estimate by saying that the accurate number will be somewhere in that ballpark. e.g. Our anticipated sales this Black Friday is $1.5 million, or somewhere in that ballpark.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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