Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Michelle Kaplan
"The New York Radio Girl"

Do you have a lot of commitments in your life?

Are you somebody that truly commits to your relationships or activities in your life?

Today we’re talking about commitments and why this is such a big part of conversation.

You can understand the definitions of the word, and then see how to use this in conversation.

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Today we have a great question from a listener about the word “commitment.”

Hi, Lindsay, Michelle, Jessica, Aubrey!

How are you doing? I’m Oleg, from Kyiv, Ukraine. I really enjoy listening to the podcasts. I hear the word “commitment” all the time and wonder about it. This is a bit confusing to me! It seems to have many different definitions and uses for it, specifically in the news.

It would be fantastic to hear how native speakers actually use “commitment” in one of your episodes. I just want to be able to use this the right way in conversation. Thanks for your help!

All the best,

Oleg

Understanding This Word

This word is so useful, and therefore you will hear it used often in conversation.

There are a few definitions inspired by the dictionary, and then we will talk about one more specifically and some fun you can have with it.

When you look at the word “commitment” the most notable definition that you may hear is “something you must do.”

It may refer to something that you are unable to do such as “you can’t fulfill that commitment.”

This may be used a lot with scheduling things as you look at your commitments.

When you look at the word commitment it can also mean “a promise to do something.”

It may also speak to something you are loyal to.

These are definitions from the dictionary so they are pretty exact, but they are what you would define them as too.

These make up the most common uses for this word and what you might expect to see in terms of uses.

You will find that it’s a word you use a lot, so let’s look at some examples.

Using Examples of This Common Word

So you see that two primary uses for this word are about making a commitment or a promise.

Let’s look at some examples of how the word “commitment” works in each of these situations.

With scheduling things

“I can’t come because I have a commitment with my team at work that day.”

“Scheduling appointments is always tough when you have so many commitments!”

Promise to do something or loyalty to someone or something

“I made a commitment to be there for my niece every day after school.”

“Their commitment to each other is really beautiful.”

“My commitment to the cause of animal rights will never change.”

Overall, commitment is about something that you are set for, promising, devoted to, or scheduled for.

We are looking at this in terms of relationships, because that is the first thing this word might make you and how you may use it the most. think of!    

The Various Ways To Discuss This Word and Idea

You see that there are various uses for the word, but there are also different ways to talk about it too.

Have you ever heard somebody say that they are a “commitaphobe?”

This means that they have a fear of commitment, often times in relationships.

Why do you think people have a “fear of attachment/commitment” in relationships?

This may have to do with experiences or past history in relationships.

Talking about commitment or somebody’s fear of it is a common occurrence.

So it’s not only about the various definitions, but also the way in which it is talked about.

Roleplay To Help

In this roleplay, Lindsay and Michelle are planning and chatting together.

Lindsay: “Are you free Sunday?”

Michelle: “Hmmm, no I have a work commitment. I can do Monday?”

Lindsay: “Sure! Ugh. My sister just texted me. She’s upset because her boyfriend is turning out to be a “commitphobe.” He has a real fear of attachment and I don’t think she has accepted that yet.”

Michelle: “I’m sorry to hear that!”

Takeaway

Overall, this word is used a lot in many different contexts.

It has the same overall meaning that we discussed, and so you can see how it works.

There is so much more we can do on this topic such as focus on other word forms and other idioms.

This is a great topic and we will likely do a follow up.

Now you can see how this word works, and start to use it in conversation.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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