View Poll Results: I can promise that you'll like it.

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4. This poll is closed
  • "Can" is grammatically redundant in that sentence.

    1 25.00%
  • "Can" is not grammatically redundant in that sentence.

    1 25.00%
  • It can sometimes be grammatically redundant in that sentence.

    2 50.00%
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. M56
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    #1

    I can promise that you'll like it.

    I can promise that you'll like it. What's your opinion? See the poll.

    N.B. I borrowed the poll from a poster on another forum. She gave permission - just in case anyone has doubts

  2. Steven D's Avatar
    Senior Member
    English Teacher

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    #2

    Re: I can promise that you'll like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    I can promise that you'll like it. What's your opinion? See the poll.

    N.B. I borrowed the poll from a poster on another forum. She gave permission - just in case anyone has doubts
    The speaker has the the ability to promise. The speaker is capable of promising.

    I wouldn't trust it as a promise. "I promise you'll like it." - That's sufficient.


    I don't what someone is really thinking who says "I can promise you'll like it."

    For one thing, no one can really promise that anyone will like anything. One would have to know someone very well. Beyond that, it sounds like a sales pitch.

  3. Robert B. Mercer's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Jul 2005
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    #3

    Re: I can promise that you'll like it.

    I believe that the CAN adds meaning to the sentence.

    It changes the sentence from the speaker PROMISING, to

    just SAYING that he is ABLE to promise... but at that moment he IS NOT PROMISING.

    I CAN PROMISE you that you can buy the car for $10.

    In this example, if you listen closely, he IS NOT promsing you, at that moment, the car for $10... he is only SAYING he COULD, if he chooses to.
    I study Spanish means I am doing it right now, I can study Spanish announces that I am capable of it.. but I might never do it.

    I can promise you I will never hit you DOES NOT promise I won't hit you... it is just a very, very, very sneaky way of hoping you hear it that way.

  4. M56
    Guest
    #4

    Re: I can promise that you'll like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    For one thing, no one can really promise that anyone will like anything. One would have to know someone very well. Beyond that, it sounds like a sales pitch. [/QUOTE]

    It does.

    [/QUOTE] I wouldn't trust it as a promise. "I promise you'll like it." - That's sufficient.[/QUOTE]

    It's the modal that would also put me off believing the speaker. Too emphatic for my liking, though useful to some speakers no doubt.

  5. M56
    Guest
    #5

    Re: I can promise that you'll like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert B. Mercer
    I believe that the CAN adds meaning to the sentence.

    It changes the sentence from the speaker PROMISING, to

    just SAYING that he is ABLE to promise... but at that moment he IS NOT PROMISING.

    I CAN PROMISE you that you can buy the car for $10.

    In this example, if you listen closely, he IS NOT promsing you, at that moment, the car for $10... he is only SAYING he COULD, if he chooses to.
    I study Spanish means I am doing it right now, I can study Spanish announces that I am capable of it.. but I might never do it.

    I can promise you I will never hit you DOES NOT promise I won't hit you... it is just a very, very, very sneaky way of hoping you hear it that way.
    Very interesting reading of it, Robert. How would you figure this one:

    I can promise you right now that you'll like it.

  6. Steven D's Avatar
    Senior Member
    English Teacher

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    #6

    Re: I can promise that you'll like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by M56
    Very interesting reading of it, Robert. How would you figure this one:

    I can promise you right now that you'll like it.

    Don't buy it.

  7. M56
    Guest
    #7

    Re: I can promise that you'll like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    Don't buy it.
    OK. Thanks for the warning.

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