I'm sorry to say

I'm sorry to say

Used to politely introduce or soften a statement that may be unpleasant, upsetting, or disappointing. I'm sorry to say that your application has been rejected due to a failure to provide adequate documentation. I was hoping I'd be there in time to see the performance, but they canceled my flight because of the snow, I'm sorry to say.
See also: say, sorry

I’m ˈsorry to say

used for saying that something is disappointing: He didn’t accept the job, I’m sorry to say.
See also: say, sorry
References in classic literature ?
'Maclean gave me four hundred pounds to put in the bank, sir,' began John; 'and I'm sorry to say that I've been robbed of it!'
"Then I'm sorry to say there's some bad news for you," Da Souza said.
Of course he denies it; but it really doesn't matter, as I'm sorry to say he's much too 'fresh' (as they call it down here) to remember anything to-morrow morning.
"I'm sorry to say it," I says, "but Hanner's the very one."
They abused her goodness, I'm sorry to say, and while they walked in the lanes, they stood the perambulator alone in a field where there was a bull.
"I don't know for certain, and I'm sorry to say I haven't had an opportunity of finding out all day; but I received a letter from Moscow, while I was in Switzerland, from a Mr.
I'm sorry to say that my celebrated son has no manners.
"I'm sorry to say it is," said Raffles apologetically.
I had a look into mine in the garden, and I'm sorry to say there was nothing in them.
'Devilish little, I'm sorry to say,' replied Squeers.
I'm sorry to say it's quite difficult to treat but if you have any hearing loss a hearing aid might help.
"We came here with the intention of never moving, we're going to die here basically, but with the upset this has caused, if we could afford to move, I'm sorry to say we would actually leave.
"First is, I know a lot of you have been asking me about Eat Bulaga and I'm sorry to say that I'm not with them anymore.
I'm sorry to say - OK, I'm not sorry in the slightest!
Colin Gray wrote: "I'm sorry to say but to blame Sajid Javid for the baby's death is totally wrong, I fully support his stance."