Promises, Promises.

Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native: Promises, promises

At the end of a telephone call you often make some kind of promise to the other and German speakers often say something like: “I call you back first thing tomorrow”.

We actually use the future ‘will’ form so “I’ll call you back first thing tomorrow”

Here are some other examples:

  1. “I’ll write/mail* you the details in due course.”
  2. “I’ll ask/have a word with* my boss and get back to you a.s.a.p.”
  3. “I’ll process/get right on with* processing your order.”
  4. “I’ll put/pop* the confirmation in the mail immediately.”
  5. “I’ll arrange/set up* an appointment with XYZ and send you confirmation.”
  6. “I’ll look into the matter and get back to you as soon as I can.”
  7. “I’ll sleep on the matter/it* and give my decision before the end of the week.”
  8. “I’ll let you know my ETA as soon as I get around to* arranging the flight.”
  9. “I’ll be in touch.”
  10. “I’ll have my assistant take care of it and you’ll have it before the end of the day.”

* (colloquial)

And please don’t make the typical “We’ll see us on Friday” mistake. “I’ll see you on Friday”

Happy promising! But remember to only my promises you can keep – it’s bad to break a promise.

in due course (zur gegebener Zeit), to get right on with sth* (mit etw gleich anfangen), to look into the matter (der Sache nachgehen),  to sleep on the matter/it* (etw überschlafen), ETA = estimated time of arrival (voraussichtliche Ankunftszeit), to get around to sth* (zu etw kommen)

One thought on “Promises, Promises.

Great that you differentiate between colloquial and formal expressions, thanks. Sometimes it’s a bit confusing which term to use for your counterpart. Occasionally you want to speak like a native but then you use slang while talking to your supervisor – or worse: client. 😉

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