Meaning of the phrase or reply "I Guess So"

My sister asked my brother if she could have a particular painting that he had and his reply was, "I guess so,"  and now he is angry that she took the painting.   She and I both took his reply to be hesitant, but a "yes" to her request.   What does, "I guess so" mean?

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Answers

First of all... true definition of what someone responds with has to include 1) the circumstances...was the person giving full attn when asked the question (person being asked looking directly at the person asking?); what "tone" was the answer received in (did it sound like they were paying attn fully at the time of the question?)..etc.  When you ask someone a serious or genuine question and want the same type of answer...these are the first steps in how to do it the right way ..otherwise the answer you are going to get from anyone reading this is...obviously your brother had other matters on his mind and wanted to simply was not paying full attn to your question.  Give him a break..don't be angry back...explain and start over...  

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