We use this sentence pattern to guarantee that an action will be done.
We can only use "promise to" if the person who promises and the person who is doing the action are the same.
Subject + promise + infinitive...
- I promise to come.
(I am promising and I am the one who is coming.)
- He promises to work hard.
She promises to he will work hard.
- I promise to try my best.
- She always promises to come on time, but she never does.
- They promise to love each other forever.
- He promises to give us the report tomorrow.
- They promise to help us if we need it.
We can also change "promise" to the past tense. These sentences tell what has already been promised, but not actually done. Subject + promised + infinitive...
- She promised to be nice to everyone.
- He will come. He promised to come.
- They promised to tell us as soon as they find out.
- We have to go because we promised to go.
- Mark promised to fix it for us.
We use this sentence pattern to show that a promise was broken. The person did not do what they said they would do. Subject + promised + infinitive..., but...
Bonus Tips and Points
- They promised to help, but they didn't.
- He promised to give me my phone back today, but he hasn't yet.
- We promised to bring her a present, but we forgot.
- I promised to go, but I might break my promise.
- She promised to come, but she got sick, so she didn't come.
- He promised to come, but I don't know if he will.
1. We can use "promise that" for any sentence.
- I promise that I will come.
- I promise that it will be good.
- She promises that she isn't a liar.
- She promises that he isn't a liar.
So, if there are two different subjects, then we need to use "promise that". If there is only one subject, then we can use "promise to" or "promise that".
Real-World English Conversations
- I promise to go.
(=I promise that I will go.)
- She promised to help.
(=She promised that she would help.)
A) I promised to take my wife on a trip this weekend, but I forgot.
B) Just get on the internet now and make a reservation for a nice hotel by the beach.
A) That's a good idea.
A) She promised to come, but I didn't see her at the event.
B) She probably forgot about it. I'll talk to her when I see her this afternoon.
A) I'm sorry that I didn't come to your party.
B) You promised to come. What happened?
A) There was an emergency at work and I had to work all weekend.
B) You should have called.
A) I know. I apologize for that. I'll make it up to you.
A) They always promise to help us with our business, but they never do.
B) They always make empty promises.
A) I am learning that fact.
B) When they promise, you shouldn't count on them.
A) I didn't promise to come. Why are you mad that I didn't come?
B) You said you might come.
A) Might is not a promise.
B) I know, but I still expected you to come. I am a little disappointed.
A) Well, I am sorry that you feel that way. I would have come if I could have. Use these free English lessons to learn the most common sentence patterns in the English language. If you learn these sentence and questions well, it will help you speak English well. Study the lessons thoroughly, practice making your own sentences, and come back to review often. If you do these three steps, your English speaking will improve quickly and you will be able to have natural English conversations.