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"To tell the truth, he never liked you."
Is "To tell the truth" an idiomatic expression ? It clearly does not have any grammatical connection with the clause "he never liked you".
If we compare the above sentence with "I came here to see you", we can see that "to see you" and "I came here" are clearly connected.
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Hi,
"To tell the truth, he never liked you."
Is "To tell the truth" an idiomatic expression ? Yes, it is. We also sometimes say 'to be truthful'.
It clearly does not have any grammatical connection with the clause "he never liked you".
If we compare the above sentence with "I came here to see you", we can see that "to see you" and "I came here" are clearly connected.

Clive
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In that case I think "To be honest" is idiomatic too.
But isn't "Speaking of soccer" in "Speaking of soccer, my father is a soccer fan." idiomatic too ?
Hi,

Yes, they are both idiomatic.

Clive
Debpriya De"To tell the truth, he never liked you."
Is "To tell the truth" an idiomatic expression ? It clearly does not have any grammatical connection with the clause "he never liked you".

Yes, it is idiomatic - roughly glossed as "It's a fact". Your point about the lack of grammatical connection with the clause is well made. The reason is that although expressions like this are adjuncts (adverbials), they are a special kind called supplements, which typically give the speakers' evaluation or personal opinion of the situation. The difference is that adjuncts, when functioning as modifiers, are tightly integrated into the structure of a clause, whereas supplements are only loosely attached and usually set apart from the rest of the clause by punctuation (or in speech by intonation, such as a slight pause). By contrast, adjuncts as modifiers are not set off like that - they are unified with the verb phrase.
Debpriya DeIf we compare the above sentence with "I came here to see you", we can see that "to see you" and "I came here" are clearly connected.
Yes, indeed. This is an example of an adjunct acting as a modifier (as opposed to a supplement as in your other example). As you say, it's more closely integrated into the structure of the clause - not set apart from the clause by intonation or punctuation like a supplement adjunct. Like all adjuncts (modifier or supplement), it's an optional clause element.

BillJ
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