To tell you the truth

Most Important Level 1

"To tell you the truth…"

Meaning: used to emphasize that one is speaking honestly

Similar Expressions
  • To tell you the truth, I don't like him.
  • Honestly, I don't like him.
  • To be honest, I don't like him.
  • Truthfully, I don't like him.
  • Frankly speaking, I don't like him.
When do we use it?

We simply use this phrase when we want to emphasize that we are telling the truth. This phrase does not add any important information to the sentence. It just emphasizes that we are being honest and it adds feeling to our language.
  • I don't like jazz.
  • To tell you the truth, I don't like jazz.
How do we use it?

We put this phrase at the beginning of a sentence before we make a true statement. Put a comma after this phrase when writing.
  • To tell you the truth, I don't know.
  • To tell you the truth, I can speak Spanish, but not well
Example English Conversations

A) I heard you did a great job on the project.
B) To tell you the truth, James did most of the work. I just helped him.

A) Your English is so good. You must practice a lot.
B) To tell you the truth, I don't actually study that much. I just go on a lot of business trips to Canada, so I have to speak English a lot.

A) If you are late again, you might get fired.
B) To tell you the truth, I don't care. I am sick and tired of this job.

Adding expressions and idioms to your vocabulary will help you become a better English speaker. You do not need to learn a million expressions or idioms at one time! If you study new English expressions and idioms steadily and consistently, then your vocabulary will get better and better. Use these free English lessons to expand your vocabulary and learn useful English idioms, slang, and expressions.