Chinese Verbs – Promise | 答应 Daying and Chinese Nouns – 承诺 Chengnuo in Mandarin
Promise in Chinese is 答应 Dāyìng and 承诺 Chéngnuò. We also use 承诺 Chéngnuò as a Chinese Noun of “a promise” in Mandarin.
答应 Dāyìng also means Agree in Chinese. Here, we use it sparingly only to specific replies relating to agreements.
① Promise in Chinese – 答应 Dāyìng
We can use 答应 Dāyìng to say Promise in Chinese in general circumstances. With a mere 3 or 4 Chinese characters, you have already learned to say “I promise / I promise you.“
If you want to add more information and extend the Chinese characters in the first sentence below, the context will change from “I promise” to “I agree + Information.” One example is “I agree with your request. 我答应你的要求。Wǒ dā yìng nǐ de yāo qiú.
I promise. I promise you.
Wǒ dā yìng. Wǒ dā yìng nǐ.
I have a secret to tell you. But, you have to promise me to keep it a secret.
Wǒ yǒu yī gè mì mì xiǎng gào sù nǐ. Bù guò, nǐ yào dā yìng wǒ bǎo shǒu zhè ge mì mì.
Ok, I promise you to keep it a secret.
Hǎo, wǒ dā yìng nǐ bǎo shǒu mì mì.
Promise me that you would not leave me.
Dā yìng wǒ, nǐ bù huì lí kāi wǒ.
I promise to give you a call before sleeping.
Wǒ dā yìng nǐ, shuì jiào zhī qián huì dǎ tōng diàn huà gěi nǐ.
Didn’t you promise me the last time？
Nǐ shàng cì bù shì dā yìng wǒ le ma?
When did I ever promise you (+ Information)?
Wǒ shén me shí hòu dā yìng guò nǐ, (yào hé nǐ qù lǚxíng)?
If you cannot do it, don’t anyhow promise people.
Jiǎ rú nǐ zuò bù dào de huà, jiù bù yào suí biàn dā yìng bié rén.
When promising others, ought to do it.
Dā yìng bié rén de shì, jiù yào zuò dào.
② Promise Not in Chinese – 不答应 Bu Daying and 没答应 Mei Daying
Here are a few negations using 不答应 Bù dāyìng and 没答应 Méi dāyìng.
For the first sentence below, when you removed the Object Pronoun (me, him, her, you) and left with only 4 Chinese characters – “我不答应 Wǒ bù dāyìng“, the meaning would be ” I don’t agree” instead of “我没答应 Wǒ méi dāyìng – I did not promise.”
I do not agree.
Wǒ bù dā yìng.
I am not able to promise (you). I cannot promise (you).
Wǒ bù néng (gòu) dā yìng (nǐ). Wǒ bù kě yǐ dā yìng (nǐ).
I did not agree/promise. I didn’t promise you.
Wǒ méi dā yìng. Wǒ méi dā yìng nǐ.
If you come late, I am unable to promise you there would still be seats left.
Rú guǒ nǐ chí lái de huà, wǒ bù néng gòu dā yìng nǐ hái huì yǒu wèi zi.
Unfortunately, now I cannot promise you, saying that I would surely come. I have to see whether I need to work overtime that day.
Kě xí, wǒ bù kě yǐ dā yìng nǐ shuō wǒ yī dìng néng lái. Wǒ yào kàn kàn dàng tiān wǒ xū yào jiā bān ma.
I didn’t agree/promise to go out with him.
Wǒ méi dā yìng hé tā chū mén.
I didn’t agree/promise you that I would keep my promise.
Wǒ méi dā yìng nǐ wǒ yī dìng huì zūn shǒu chéng nuò.
③ Promise in Chinese – 承诺 Chengnuo
承诺 Chéngnuò can be a verb or a noun as Promise in Chinese. However, we use it lesser as a verb than as a noun. As a verb, it has a literary sense and too flowery for daily use.
I have never used this word as a verb because the word seems to carry a lot of weight as Promise in Chinese. I would feel mushy to use it as a verb since I have other verb choices.
As a Chinese, I tend to associate this verb with images of serious, undying and eternal love for each other. To be fair, love is not what the verb is all about. It is also a formal word seen more often in the news.
Anyway, I would avoid using this word as a verb in a modern context for normal conversation except for formal writing or speech. I would prefer to use it as a noun which is more common.
As Chinese Verb – 承诺 Chengnuo
Both parties promise to love each other forever.
Shuāng fāng chéng nuò huì yǒng yuǎn ài zhe duì fāng.
What do you hope the other party to promise to you?
Nǐ xī wàng duì fāng xiàng nǐ chéng nuò xiē shén me?
We promise to provide our customers with the best service.
Wǒ men chéng nuò wèi gù kè tí gōng zuì wán měi de fú wù.
As Chinese Noun – 承诺 Chengnuo
What is a promise?
Chéng nuò shì shén me?
How can one break a promise?
Zuò rén zěn me kě yǐ bù zūn shǒu chéng nuò?
Conduct oneself and keep promises.
Zuò rén yào zūn shǒu chéng nuò.
What is the promise that you give to her?
Nǐ duì tā zuò chū le shén me chéng nuò?
I do not wish to give him any promise.
Wǒ bù xiǎng duì tā zuò chū shén me chéng nuò.
The other Chinese Verb 保证 Bǎozhèng refers to Promise in Chinese too. 保证 Bǎozhèng has a significance of “guarantee” made in a formal or non-formal situation in speech or writing. Hence, we will discuss this in the following post – How to Say “Guarantee” in Chinese? 保证 Baozheng in Mandarin.