60 Other Ways to Say “To Be Honest” in English

To be honest, there are other ways to say this phrase. For example, you could say “frankly,” “in all honesty,” or “to tell you the truth.” While each of these phrases has a different connotation, they all communicate the same message – that you’re about to give your honest opinion on something.

Maybe you’re about to drop some tough love or perhaps you want to make sure your listener knows that everything you’re about to say is true. Whatever the case may be, if you need to emphasize the truthfulness of what you’re about to say, here are some other ways to say “to be honest” in English.

Formal Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

List of Formal Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

  1. I’m just going to come right out and say…
  2. Let me put the whole truth out there…
  3. To be perfectly honest with you…
  4. Let me just make it clear that…
  5. The frankest answer I can give is…
  6. I’m only telling you this because…
  7. I want to set the record straight
  8. The honest and candid response is…

How To Use Some Of These Phrases

When you need to be formal, but still want to convey the importance of your message, try one of these phrases. Depending on the situation, you can choose one that fits the situation best.

For example, if you’re trying to compliment someone but also be honest about something, you could say, “Let me make it clear that I think you’re great and I really appreciate your efforts, but to be perfectly honest with you, I think the outcome could have been better.”

Informal Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

List of Informal Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

  1. You know I’m telling it like it is…
  2. I gotta be straight with ya…
  3. Listen, if I’m being real with you…
  4. Let me be blunt here…
  5. No sugarcoating this one —
  6. If I’m gonna be honest…

How To Use Some Of These Phrases

Suppose you’re about to give a friend advice but you don’t want to be too harsh. In this case, try one of the more informal phrases.

For example, if you’re trying to give a friend advice on their relationship, say something like: “No sugarcoating this one — if I’m gonna be honest with you, the relationship isn’t healthy for either of you and it’s best to move on.”

Idiomatic Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

  1. Let me cut to the chase here…
  2. If you want my two cents, you got it…
  3. I’ll give you the lowdown on this one, okay?
  4. Let me spell it out for you…
  5. If we’re going to lay all the cards on the table…
  6. I gotta be straight up with you…

Professional Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

  1. I must be candid with you…
  2. Allow me to express my honest opinion…
  3. If I may be so direct…
  4. Allow me to provide an honest reflection…
  5. I can say in all earnestness…
  6. Let me be candid with you about this…

Funny Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

  1. Let me wear my truth hat for a sec…
  2. I’m just gonna drop some realness here…
  3. If I’m being totally honest with you…
  4. I gotta be brutally honest with you…
  5. If I may be as brutally honest as possible…
  6. Like it or not, here’s the truth…
  7. I’m gonna tell it to you straight, okay?
  8. This might come as a shock, but…

Classifying these phrases by their emotions could help with finding the best one for every situation someone wants to use them: family gathering, at work, or with friends. Each situation requires a different tone and being sensitive to the emotions of others is key.

Other Ways to Say “To be Honest”

  1. Actually …
  2. Allow me to speak my mind …
  3. As a matter of fact …
  4. As it happens…
  5. Frankly …
  6. Honestly/ frankly speaking…
  7. Honestly…
  8. I’m going to lay it on the line …
  9. I’m just going to come right out and say it …
  10. I’m only telling you this because I care about you …
  11. If I can speak my mind …
  12. If I shoot from the hip …
  13. If I’m perfectly honest …
  14. If I’m being honest…
  15. If truth be told …
  16. In actual fact …
  17. In all fairness …
  18. In all honesty …
  19. In all sincerity
  20. In fact …
  21. Let me set the record straight …
  22. Let’s be fair …
  23. Let’s be/make it clear
  24. Let’s put the whole truth out there
  25. Let’s set the record straight
  26. The truth of the matter is…
  27. To be fair
  28. To be frank …
  29. To put it frankly/bluntly…
  30. To tell the truth …
  31. Truth to be told…
  32. Truthfully…
  33. With all due respect …
  34. TBH

Different Ways to Say “To be Honest” | Image

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Walt Dittrich
Walt Dittrich
11 months ago

To avoid saying “To be honest” one should say “honestly”?!
That sort of defeats the purpose, no?
Saying “To be honest”, “Honestly”, or even “Truthfully,” implies everything you said before that was a lie.

Scott Main
Scott Main
10 months ago
Reply to  Walt Dittrich

I agree with that. Or at best says that you lack integrity with all of your other words.