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Using Expressions of Promise and Deterrence in A Context


Using Expressions of Promise and Deterrence in A Context – Basic Competence: Expressing meanings in transactional and interpersonal conversations using the accurate, fluent and acceptable expressions in social contexts; containing the expressions of shyness, anger, and annoyance.

Learn about it!

In this lesson, you will learn about and how to use expressions of promise and deterrence in a context appropriately.

Trust is an important thing. It is hard to trust people, as hard as to be trusted by other people; for trust is a fragile thing that can be easily broken and is hard to be fixed. Trust is strongly related with promises. It goes without saying that promises are important; a trusted person means a person who keeps promises. Unfortunately, for some people, it is easier to break promises and then apologize for it than to keep and fulfill those. Thus, to keep promises is a noble and important thing to do.


A promise is the act of telling someone that you will certainly do or not do something; it is a commitment, a declaration that something will or will not be done or given. It is not recommended to take promises for granted; to only say it but not to fulfill it. Make sure that when you are making promises; you have considered your own capabilities of fulfilling it, because when giving promises, you are giving assurance to someone that you will follow on what you said to them.

The expressions of promise are usually started with these expressions:

  • I promise ….
  • I swear ….
  • I assure ….
  • Trust me ….

I promise not to + (verb) .…

Besides stating to do something the expressions of promise can also be used to express that someone is not going to something; it is usually something which makes someone else angry or disappointed. When using ‘promise not to’ you are stating you will not do a particular thing.


Deterrence means some measures taken by a person, especially a friend, to prevent hostile actions which are likely to be done by another; it is an act of deterring. This act could also be like an advice given to someone in order to prevent that someone to do something bad; it is usually accompanied by the threat of bad results. These expressions can be used to show how much you care of someone, and how much you care about the mutual benefit in that the prevention of something bad to occur.

There are some expressions of deterrence you can use as shown below:

  • You would be well advised not to ….
  • I wouldn’t recommend ….
  • I wouldn’t advise ….
  • I don’t think you should ….
  • I wouldn’t do that if I were you.
  • If I were in your position, I wouldn’t ….

Do you understand?

  • Study the discussion below and notice the use of the expressions of promise.

Sila: Why you didn’t come yesterday? I was waiting for hours!
Naja: I am terribly sorry; I suddenly got a stomachache yesterday.
Sila: Or perhaps you could not leave your online game!
Naja: Not because of that. I promise I will come on time next time.
Sila: It is hard to believe your promises anymore!
Naja: Trust me, yesterday was the last one I did that.

  • Study the dialogue below and notice the use of I promise not to..

Yuli: What did you do to my phone! It doesn’t work anymore!
Nanda: I accidentally dropped it. I’m sorry.
Yuli: Well, you do that a lot. Stop playing with someone else’s property.
Nanda: I promise not to touch your phone anymore.

  • For example, study the discussion below and notice the use of the expressions of deterrence.

Adit : Dude, I want to buy a new bicycle. It looks cool!
Angga : You have one and you rarely ride it. Yours is still in a good condition.
Adit : Yeah, but the style is old-fashioned.
Angga : I don’t think you should buy a new one. Use it for your health, not only for the style.
Adit : Well, I don’t know… This new bike is tempting.
Angga : You’re only wasting your money. I wouldn’t advise you buying it.


  • All in all, when making promises, be responsible and rationale.
  • The same goes to expressing deterrence, you should consider the common good.
  • You should not use expressions of deterrence to only threaten or deceive others.
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