te lo giuro

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intel4

Member
Italian
Devo tradurre in inglese te lo giuro! in questo contesto:

Madre: Elena come al solito non hai studiato!
Elena: No, mamma, ho studiato! Te lo giuro!

In inglese si utilizza la traduzione letterale "I swear it to you!" o devo necessariamente optare solo per "I swear it!" senza il pronome indiretto to you?
 
  • You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    That sounds a bit odd to me unless something comes after it: I swear to you that I've done my homework! But it could be different in Australia, or it could be just me.:)
    The swearing needs to relate to something, but it doesn’t necessarily have to come after it.

    I’ve done my homework. I swear to you!
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    It’s reasonably common here, but probably not as common as “I swear to God!”. There are quite a few Google hits for it. These are a few examples:

    The Second Night, a lord of the rings fanfic | FanFiction

    The young hobbit curled into a ball under the weight of guilt and grief. "I did not mean it, I swear to you! Please, please forgive me. I meant no harm when I dropped the rock, truly. I'm so sorry ...

    Kevin Hart and Josh Gad are a pair of ringers

    Kevin Hart (Laughing): You did do that. You don’t remember?
    Josh Gad: I did?
    KH: I swear to you.

    "I Saw Simon When I Flatlined"

    I was desperate to see Simon," she said. "I saw him when I flatlined actually. I did. He is God, I swear to you!"

    Perhaps it’s just not used in Canadian English. :)
     
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    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Perhaps it’s just not used in Canadian English. :)
    It might well be--as I said at the start, it could be just me. And I don't find it strikingly wrong, just rather less idiomatic than a simple "I swear!" (Edit: my partner, even more linguistically Canadian than I am, agrees with me, so I guess it's not just me.:))
     
    Last edited:

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    I must have missed something; it seems fine to me. It's a promise now about the truth of an event in the past.
    Promises are assurances made about something in the future - that something will be done or that will happen. How can you do that about the truth of something in the past?
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    It's a promise now about the truth of an event in the past.
    I don't get what you mean.
    The student is swearing that he did his homework.
    How can that be a promise?

    Mum, I promise I'll do my homework later. (ti prometto che..)
    Mum, I swear I did my homework yesterday. (ti giuro che..)
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Well I just looked at Lexico, and was slightly surprised to see it backing both of you up, for the most part. Then I saw:

    I promise
    informal

    Most of the examples provided refer to the future, as you both suggest, but a few seem not to:

    ‘oh, I'm not joking, I promise’
    ‘This is not an appeal to your green listeners, Amy, I promise you.’
    ‘I'm not one of those apathetic stay-at-home voters that the Labour Party is so worried about, I promise you.’
     

    Paulfromitaly

    MODerator
    Italian
    ‘oh, I'm not joking, I promise’
    ‘This is not an appeal to your green listeners, Amy, I promise you.’
    ‘I'm not one of those apathetic stay-at-home voters that the Labour Party is so worried about, I promise you.’
    But wouldn't you say "I swear" in these examples?
    I'd definitely say "ti giuro" and not "ti prometto" in Italian.
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I'm not in the habit of saying either, that I know of, but I wouldn't blink at either, hearing it. As for the Italian, I'll leave that to you!
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Well I just looked at Lexico, and was slightly surprised to see it backing both of you up, for the most part. Then I saw:

    I promise
    informal

    Most of the examples provided refer to the future, as you both suggest, but a few seem not to:

    ‘oh, I'm not joking, I promise’
    ‘This is not an appeal to your green listeners, Amy, I promise you.’
    ‘I'm not one of those apathetic stay-at-home voters that the Labour Party is so worried about, I promise you.’
    We're not saying it's not used, tsoapm; I've heard people use it in this context. I just don't think it makes sense (we say a lot of rubbish in English!). :)
     

    tsoapm

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Ok, I see where you're coming from. I hope I'm not going off-topic, but I feel a slight urge to demur. It depends what you mean by make sense: dictionaries just record how language is used, and the rules are agreed but essentially arbitrary. No idiomatic expressions make sense, at one level, and by English standards Italian never makes no sense whenever it uses a double negative.
     

    Mary49

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Perhaps this one?
    Promise: Traduzione in italiano - Dizionario Inglese - Corriere.it
    "4 (to assure) assicurare, garantire".
    And these?:
    to promise: traduzione in italiano - Dizionari
    "he hasn’t seen it, I promise non l’ha visto, te l’assicuro; she’s not what you think, I promise you that lei non è quello che credi, questo te lo assicuro".
    I promise you | meaning of I promise you in Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English | LDOCE
    1611309320022.png

    I PROMISE (YOU) (phrase) definition and synonyms | Macmillan Dictionary
    1611309383749.png
     

    rrose17

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Just to add my 2 cents. While not making all that much sense, perhaps, I'd say it is definitely used as YLR has indicated. It's especially used in contexts where you have to swear that you haven't done anything wrong.
    You've been smoking again, haven't you?
    No I haven't, I promise.

    It does sound a little like a kid speaking, but adults use it as well.
     
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