Based on what Merriam dictionary and some of other references have noted, usage of the verb "act upon" is very rare and bottom 10% of popularity.
So how do natives convey this concept( do a promise )?
Are there any other verbs or expressions?

2 Answers 2


"Fulfill" or "keep" a promise is most common:

She fulfilled her promise to her dying grandmother to finish school and become a doctor.

He kept his promise never to tell what he had seen that day.

You can also "hold someone to" a promise, meaning you make sure they keep it.

Dad, do you really mean that you'll buy me a car if I get straight A's this semester? I'll hold you to that promise!

  • Thanks a lot, Andrew. It was so helpful. Could you explain how you express the phrase " act upon your words" (not promise)? @Andrew Dec 27, 2016 at 21:52
  • I've not heard that expression. A similar idiom, though, is "walk the talk".
    – Andrew
    Dec 27, 2016 at 22:02
  • 1
    @YazdanSamieiPoor You can also say "I'll hold you to your word" or "you gave me your word", although in this case "to give your word" means "to promise"
    – Andrew
    Dec 27, 2016 at 22:08
  • 1
    idiom: put your money where your mouth is.
    – mobileink
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:55

Live up to

Fulfil (an undertaking):

‘the president lived up to his promise to set America swiftly on a new path’

‘‘The seller didn't live up to his promises,’ he says.’

‘He has not lived up to his promise to fully disclose the identities of his top money-collectors who bundle millions of dollars in campaign contributions.’ (ODO)

To act or be in accordance with.

"had no intention of living up to his promise." (Merriam Webster)

live up to something to be as good as what was expected or promised. (Macmillan)

If something or someone lives up to a particular standard or promise, they do as well as they were expected to, do what they promised etc. (Longman)

  • Tnx. A useful word. But don't you think it's a very formal verb and not casual? Is it used in everyday conversations between natives or it's used merely in very formal situations? Isn't it weird to use it in front of your friend when speaking? Dec 28, 2016 at 7:58
  • Let's see what native speakers of English think.
    – Afsane
    Dec 28, 2016 at 10:08
  • Yup, you've got a point Dec 28, 2016 at 10:09

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