We use this sentence pattern to make a promise or guarantee about something, somebody, or for ourselves.
We can use this pattern when the person making the promise and the person doing the action are the same.
- I promise that I will succeed.
- She promises that she can do it well.
We can also use this when the person making the promise is different from the what is being promised.
Subject + promise (that) + sentence
- I promise that he will come.
- She promises that the movie is funny.
- I promise that you will love this restaurant.
- I promise it will be fun.
- She promises that she will be on time.
- My boss promises that he will give us more money next year.
- I promise that we didn't do it.
We can also use "promise" in the past tense. We use this sentence pattern when something has been promised, but the promise has not been fulfilled or completed yet. Subject + promised (that) + sentence
- He promised that he would come.
- She promised that she would help us tomorrow.
- I promised I would teach him English.
- Last week, my boss promised that he would raise my salary next year.
If we add "but...", then this means that a promise was made, but never actually done or that we do not believe the promise. So, the person broke the promise or we do not believe it.
Bonus Tips and Points
- She promised that it would be good, but it was terrible.
- He promised that they would come at 10 pm, but it is already 11 and they are not here.
- They promised that they would help, but they didn't.
- Nick promised that his friend was trustworthy, but I don't believe it.
1. In some situations, we can use either the present tense or past tense and the meaning is the same. It is the same as how we use "say" and "said".
- My boss promises that he will give me a raise next year.
(=My boss promised that he would give me a raise next year.)
2. We can use this sentence pattern when we are unsure about something. Subject + can't promise (that) + sentence
- I will try my best, but I can't promise that it will work.
- She said that she can't promise that she will be able to attend.
- The company can't promise that it will not fire some workers.
3. We can also replace the verb "promise" with verbs that have the same or similar meaning.
Real-World English Conversations
- I vow that I will love you forever.
- She swears that she didn't steal the ring.
- The salesman guaranteed that this was the best quality, but I think he lied.
A) I promise that I won't be late this time.
B) You say that every time and you are always late.
A) The saleswoman promised that this car will last for 20 years.
B) I hope so. That would be great.
A) Are you sure that it will be fun?
B) Yes. I promise that you will have a good time.
A) She promised that she would come to my party, but she didn't.
B) You can't believe her promises.
A) He promises that he will help us.
B) I hope he keeps his promise. He is an expert in this field and we could use his help.
A) The salesman promised that this knife was sharp enough to cut anything, but it can barely cut these tomatoes.
B) You need to be careful when dealing with salespeople. Study these free English lessons to improve your English speaking. If you learn these common sentence patterns well, then your English speaking will improve greatly and you will be able to have fluent conversations in English in the near future! Study the lessons well, practice using them at home and in real life, and make sure to come back to review the material so you do not forget.