I don't want to upset you, but

I don't want to upset you, but

A phrase used before sharing bad news (which is stated after "but"). I don't want to upset you, but the printer called about a few problems with our latest issue. I don't want to upset you, but the dog has been limping around all day—I think we need to take him to the vet tonight.
See also: but, upset, want
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