How to Conjugate the French Verb 'Promettre'

'Promettre' is conjugated like 'mettre' ('to put') and its other derivatives

Couples' hand holding lock with their names on it on bridge in France

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Promettre, "to promise," is an irregular French -re verb. Below are the simple conjugations of the verb; they do not include the compound tenses, which consist of a form of the auxiliary verb avoir with the past participle promis.

The verb promettre falls into one of five patterns in conjugating irregular -re verbs. These center around prendrebattremettrerompre, and verbs that end in -aindre, -eindre and -oindre.

Promettre belongs to a group related to mettre ("to put") and its derivativesThese verbs are conjugated like battre, except in the passé simple, the imperfect subjunctive, and the past participle. Note in the table below that the first three groups take the same present tense verb endings.

Other Verbs Ending in '-mettre'

Promettre, like all irregular -re verbs ending in -mettre, are conjugated like the verb mettre. In addition to promettre, the following are also common mettre derivatives:

Uses and Meanings of 'Pormettre'

Promettre for the most part means "to promise," but, depending on the context, it can also mean "to enable" and "to resolve." It functions as both a transitive verb that takes a direct object and an intransitive verb, and it is also used in the pronominal forms ​se promettre and se promettre à.

Expressions and Examples With 'Promettre'

  • promettre la lune / promettre monts et merveilles > to promise the earth / to promise the moon and the stars
  • Promettre et tenir sont deux. (proverb) > It's easier to make a promise than to keep one.
  • On m'a promis une augmentation. > They promised me a pay rise.  
  • Je ne peux rien vous promettre. > I can't promise you anything.
  • On nous a promis de l'aide. > We were promised help.
  • La météo nous promet du beau temps pour toute la semaine. > The weather forecast promises nice weather for the whole week.
  • Tout cela ne promet rien de bon. > It doesn't look / sound too good.
  • Ses récents succès le promettent à une brillante carrière. > Considering his recent successes, he has a brilliant career ahead of him.
  • Je te promets qu'il s'en souviendra, de ce dîner ! > I can assure you that he'll remember that dinner !
  • un jeune auteur qui promet > a promising young author
  • Ce gamin promet ! (familiar) > That kid's got a great future ahead of him !
  • Eh bien, ça promet ! (ironic) > That's a good start !
  • Ils se sont promis de se revoir. > They promised (each other) that they would meet again.
  • Je m'étais promis beaucoup de joie de cette rencontre. > I'd really been looking forward to the meeting.
  • se promettre du bon temps > to look forward to enjoying oneself
  • Je me suis bien promis de ne jamais recommencer. > I swore never to do it again. / I promised myself I would never do it again.
  • se promettre à quelqu'un (archaic) > to plight one's troth to somebody
  • faire promettre qch à qn > to make somebody promise something  
  • se promettre de faire > to resolve to do  
  • se promettre que > to resolve that  
  • Il s'est promis qu'il reviendrait dès que possible. > He resolved that he would return as soon as possible.

Simple Conjugations of the Irregular French '-re' Verb 'Promettre'

Present Future Imperfect Present participle
je promets promettrai promettais promettant
tu promets promettras promettais
il promet promettra promettait
nous promettons promettrons promettions
vous promettez promettrez promettiez
ils promettent promettront promettaient
Subjunctive Conditional Passé simple Imperfect subjunctive
je promette promettrais promis promisse
tu promettes promettrais promis promisses
il promette promettrait promit promît
nous promettions promettrions promîmes promissions
vous promettiez promettriez promîtes promissiez
ils promettent promettraient promirent promissent
Imperative
(tu) promets
(nous) promettons
(vous) promettez