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

Last Updated on November 21, 2023

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”

Other Ways to Say "To be Honest" in EnglishPin

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

  • You know I’m telling it like it is…
  • I gotta be straight with ya…
  • Listen, if I’m being real with you…
  • Let me be blunt here…
  • No sugarcoating this one —
  • 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”

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

Professional Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

  • I must be candid with you…
  • Allow me to express my honest opinion…
  • If I may be so direct…
  • Allow me to provide an honest reflection…
  • I can say in all earnestness…
  • Let me be candid with you about this…

Funny Ways To Say “To Be Honest”

  • Let me wear my truth hat for a sec…
  • I’m just gonna drop some realness here…
  • If I’m being totally honest with you…
  • I gotta be brutally honest with you…
  • If I may be as brutally honest as possible…
  • Like it or not, here’s the truth…
  • I’m gonna tell it to you straight, okay?
  • 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.

Creative Ways to Say “To Be Honest”

As a writer or speaker, it’s essential to find creative ways to express yourself to keep your audience engaged. Using the same phrase repeatedly can become tedious, so it’s important to have a variety of alternatives. 

List of Creative Ways to Say “To Be Honest” 

  • To tell the truth: This phrase is a straightforward and honest way to express yourself. It shows that you are willing to be transparent and open with your audience.
  • Frankly speaking: This phrase is a more formal way of saying “to be honest.” It is often used in professional settings, such as business meetings or interviews.
  • Let me level with you: This phrase is a casual way of expressing honesty. It is often used in informal settings, such as conversations with friends or family.
  • To be perfectly honest: This phrase emphasizes the sincerity and truthfulness of your statement. It is often used when you want to emphasize the importance of what you are saying.
  • If I’m being completely honest: This phrase is a way of acknowledging that what you are about to say may be difficult or uncomfortable. It shows that you are willing to be honest, even if it may not be well-received.
  • To be candid: This phrase is a more formal way of saying “to be honest.” It is often used in professional settings, such as business meetings or interviews.
  • To be forthright: This phrase is a more formal way of saying “to be honest.” It is often used in professional settings, such as business meetings or interviews.
  • To be transparent: This phrase emphasizes the openness and honesty of your statement. It is often used in professional settings, such as business meetings or interviews.
  • To be sincere: This phrase emphasizes the genuineness and honesty of your statement. It is often used in personal settings, such as conversations with friends or family.
  • In all honesty: This phrase is a way of emphasizing the truthfulness of your statement. It is often used when you want to express your opinion honestly and openly.

There are many creative ways to say “to be honest,” which you can use in your writing or speaking. The above list provides a variety of alternatives that can help you express yourself more effectively.

Other Ways to Say “To Be Honest”

  • Actually …
  • Allow me to speak my mind …
  • As a matter of fact …
  • As it happens…
  • Frankly …
  • Honestly/ frankly speaking…
  • Honestly…
  • I’m going to lay it on the line …
  • I’m just going to come right out and say it …
  • I’m only telling you this because I care about you …
  • If I can speak my mind …
  • If I shoot from the hip …
  • If I’m perfectly honest …
  • If I’m being honest…
  • If truth be told …
  • In actual fact …
  • In all fairness …
  • In all honesty …
  • In all sincerity
  • In fact …
  • Let me set the record straight …
  • Let’s be fair …
  • Let’s be/make it clear
  • Let’s put the whole truth out there
  • Let’s set the record straight
  • The truth of the matter is…
  • To be fair
  • To be frank …
  • To put it frankly/bluntly…
  • To tell the truth …
  • Truth to be told…
  • Truthfully…
  • With all due respect …
  • TBH

Related links:

Latest posts by 7ESL (see all)

2 thoughts on “60+ Ways to Say “To Be Honest” in English”

  1. 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.

    Reply

Leave a Comment