to tell (you) the truth

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to tell (you) the truth

I must admit; to be honest; in actuality. To tell you the truth, even though I majored in English literature, I've never read anything by Hemingway! I know I said I wanted to go out to the bars tonight, but to tell the truth, I'd rather just stay home and watch a movie.
See also: tell, truth

to tell (you) the ˈtruth

used when admitting something: To tell the truth, I fell asleep in the middle of her talk.
See also: tell, truth
References in classic literature ?
Because there is no other way of guarding oneself from flatterers except letting men understand that to tell you the truth does not offend you; but when every one may tell you the truth, respect for you abates.
To tell you the truth, I had supposed that YOU were jesting in your letter; wherefore, my heart was feeling heavy at the thought that you could feel so displeased with me.
He replied, "Why, to tell you the truth, I drank so much wine that I remember nothing.
"To tell you the truth my visiting-list is a very small one; scarcely any one knows where I live.
There is nothing drest in the house, and the fire is almost out."--"Well, but," says he, "I must have something to eat, and it is almost indifferent to me what; for, to tell you the truth, I was never more hungry in my life."--"Then," says she, "I believe there is a piece of cold buttock and carrot, which will fit you."--"Nothing better," answered Jones; "but I should be obliged to you, if you would let it be fried." To which the landlady consented, and said, smiling, "she was glad to see him so well recovered;" for the sweetness of our heroe's temper was almost irresistible; besides, she was really no ill-humoured woman at the bottom; but she loved money so much, that she hated everything which had the semblance of poverty.
To tell you the truth, I am uneasy about poor Jekyll; and even outside, I feel as if the presence of a friend might do him good."
He is, I regret to say, very far from well; he does not pick up as the doctors had expected; he has a great deal upon his mind, and, to tell you the truth, my girl, if you won't help us, I am afraid I shall lose him.
"To tell you the truth, I don't want anything in the nature of a house party.
Of course, I don't expect that he would unbosom himself to any one, but, to tell you the truth, as we are situated now, the faintest hint as regards his inclinations, or lack of inclinations, towards certain things would be of immense service.
"I will always tell you the truth," said Wilton Gregory during his introductory news conference as newly appointed archbishop of Washington, D.C.
Ademola Lookman asks for the opinion of the same three people after every Everton game - because they "tell you the truth".
"I reacted quite calmly, to tell you the truth. If I had told family members about it they would have been absolutely outraged.
Messi said: "To tell you the truth this is really quite unbelievable.
Confident: McCartney In an interview with BBC Radio 6 Music Sir Paul said: "He's got an idea of what he wants us to do and to tell you the truth I'm pretty much listening to him.
"To tell you the truth I have a total sense of relief because the reality is we would never have got our movie made if Lindsay Lohan was still attached to it," RadarOnline.com quoted him as saying.