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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A promise is a transaction between two or more persons whereby the first person undertakes in the future to render some service, gift or assurance to the others or devotes something valuable now and here to his use.


Types of promise

Both an oath and an affirmation can be a promise. One special kind of promise is the vow.

A notable type of promise is an election promise.

In Contract Law a promise is a manifestation of intention to act or refrain from acting in a specified way. It is so made as to justify a promisee in understanding that a commitment has been made. The person manifesting the intention is the promiser. The person to whom the manifestation is addressed is the promisee. Where Performance of the promise is assumed to benefit a person other than the promisee, that person is a beneficiary. But in contract law the word promise is commonly used to refer to promises which result in the promiser's word justifying expectations of performance from which a legal duty will arise in term of results. For instance A orally agrees to sell Land to B.This is an offer. B agrees to buy the Land and pays $1000 to A. This is an acceptance of the offer. If the land did not legally belong to A. This is a Fraud and B is legally expected to recover his $1000 By virtue of this indirect recognition of the duty to convey promise accurately, the agreement is a contract. If the promise is obviously misunderstood, the contract is void. Some say that the contract is a promise for a promise.The promise should be kept at all times especially if in the scouting or guiding movement.

Examples of promises:

My friend promised me she would be there for my birthday.

My friend promised to do as I say.

Conditional commitment

In loan guarantees, a commitment requires to meet an equity commitment, as well as other conditions, before the loan guarantee is closed.

Promises and religions

Religions have differing attitudes towards promises.



In Christianity, a distinction is made between simple promises and oaths/vows, with only the latter being seen as involving a deity (either as witness to the promise or recipient of it).

However, the Religious Society of Friends and the Mennonites object to the taking of both oaths and affirmations, basing their objections upon a commandment given in the Sermon on the Mount, and regard all promises to be witnessed by God.


In An-Nahl, God forbids Muslims to break their promises after they have confirmed them. All promises are regarded as having Allah as their witness and guarantor. In the Hadith, the Prophet states that a Muslim who made a promise and then saw a better thing to do, should do the better thing and then make an act of atonement for breaking the promise.[citation needed]

See also


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Information about this edition
In the 1913 collection of his work, The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar


I grew a rose within a garden fair,
And, tending it with more than loving care,
I thought how, with the glory of its bloom,
I should the darkness of my life illume;
And, watching, ever smiled to see the lusty bud
Drink freely in the summer sun to tinct its blood.

My rose began to open, and its hue
Was sweet to me as to it sun and dew;
I watched it taking on its ruddy flame
Until the day of perfect blooming came,
Then hasted I with smiles to find it blushing red—
Too late! Some thoughtless child had plucked my rose and fled!

PD-icon.svg This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

Simple English

When a person agrees to do something or to not do something, that person is making a promise. A promise can be made verbally (by saying it), or it can be written down as a contract. Breaking a promise, or not keeping it, is often just bad manners, but it can sometimes be illegal, such as when a contract is not kept.

A vow is a special promise. It is mostly used in a religious sense or in ceremonies such as marriages when the couple who are being married make their "marriage vows", promising to be faithful to one another.

An oath is a promise in the legal sense. When someone has to give evidence in a court of law they "swear an oath". This means that they promise they will tell the truth.


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