Once/When/As soon as you make a promise, you must keep it.

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jiamajia

Senior Member
Mandarin
Once/When/As soon as you make a promise, you must keep it.

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'Once' is the right choice, but are 'When' and 'As soon as' also workable there?

Thank you.
 
  • Gabita

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Once you make a promise, you must keep it. :tick:
    When you make a promise, you must keep it. :tick:
    As soon as you make a promise, you must keep it. :cross:

    "As soon as A, B" conveys the meaning that whenever A happens, B happens immediately afterward.


    I can promise to take my daughter to the park on Saturday, but I can't take her as soon as I make that promise because Saturday is 2 days from today.
     
    Last edited:

    jiamajia

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Once you make a promise, you must keep it. :tick:
    Whenyou make a promise, you must keep it. :tick:
    As soon as you make a promise, you must keep it. :cross:

    "As soon as A, B" conveys the meaning that whenever A happens, B happens immediately afterward.


    I can promise to take my daughter to the park on Saturday, but I can't take her as soon as I make that promise because Saturday is 2 days from today.
    Thank you. I see.

    Chinese English learners often come across a multiple choice question with more than one correct answer.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I can promise to take my daughter to the park on Saturday, but I can't take her as soon as I make that promise because Saturday is 2 days from today.
    I agree with your reply except the quoted part. I don't feel that
    As soon as you make a promise, you must keep it
    conveys the idea that the promise must be carried out immediately after it has been made; it just has to be kept. The versions with 'once' and 'when' are, I believe, idiomatic whilst the version with 'as soon as' is not, and that is its flaw, the reason why it wouldn't be the best answer.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Thank you. I see.

    Chinese English learners often come across a multiple choice question with more than one correct answer.
    Unfortunately, there are many threads in this forum that are started because the teacher who set the test is not aware that some of the answers are right when they will mark them as wrong. Some of them are just plain poorly written tests.
    I agree with your reply except the quoted part. I don't feel that
    As soon as you make a promise, you must keep it
    conveys the idea that the promise must be carried out immediately after it has been made; it just has to be kept. The versions with 'once' and 'when' are, I believe, idiomatic whilst the version with 'as soon as' is not, and that is its flaw, the reason why it wouldn't be the best answer.
    I agree with Gabita on the urgency associated with "as soon as".

    "As soon as you bake the bread, you must eat it."
    This does not simply mean, "If you bake a cake, you must eat it" it means you must eat it as soon as you have baked it.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I agree with Gabita on the urgency associated with "as soon as".
    So in effect you're saying that 'to keep a promise' is 'to carry out a promise'. I was under the impression that 'keep' conveys the meaning of 'maintain' here. For example, if you promise your daughter to take her to the park on Saturday and it is now Thursday, to keep that promise means you can't change your mind about that. You can't decide on Friday that you won't do it.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I can see "as soon as" being associated with a sentence like this
    "As soon as you've made a promise, you are bound to keep it". It is the binding that happens right away. You "keep" the promise by carrying it out, with whatever time commitments are specified. Often, a promise is to not do something: "I promise not to smoke any more." In this case, as soon as you have made the promise, you begin keeping it. As soon as you smoke, you break it. Until you fail to take your daughter to the park on Saturday, you cannot be said to have broken the promise, but you haven't yet kept it, because it's still only Thursday. However, you can renege on it by saying "I won't take you to the park". I think some of this is logic and some semantics :D
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I take your point. I just realized the girl might ask, on Friday, 'Daddy, you will keep your promise, won't you?' NOT '... you are keeping your promise, aren't you?" So in that respect, 'to keep a promise' is 'to carry out a promise'.
     
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