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I want to tell a group of people who I am helping understand something that I do not have all the answers. I may not be able to answer some of their question as I don't know everything there is to know about some topic.

What do I fill ____ with?

Right off the bat I want to _____ that I do not have all the answers

This is what I could think of but not sure if they fit:

  1. say
  2. declare
  3. establish

Is there something else I could fill the blank with? I am not a native speaker so I can't decide. The context is formal.

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  • 3
    If the context is formal enough that the use of “let you know” is questionable, then “Right off the bat” is also too informal... – Jim Aug 27 at 18:42
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    What are the criteria for choosing a word? Why were the words in the question rejected? Without any clear direction for an answer, this is just primarily opinion-based. – Jason Bassford Aug 28 at 0:32
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Right off the bat I want to confess that I do not have all the answers.

  • Good idea. And change want to to must. – shogun Aug 27 at 18:56
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    Confess seems extreme. I like Justin's answer better. – Robusto Aug 27 at 19:09
  • @Robusto I'm not adverse to 'confess' in a less formal setting. The OP has specified formal though. – marcellothearcane Aug 27 at 19:11
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    @marcellothearcane: It's not terrible, it just doesn't feel as natural to my ear as admit. – Robusto Aug 27 at 19:13
  • Confess intimates guilt – Jason P Sallinger Aug 27 at 19:14
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Right off the bat, I must admit that I do not have all the answers.

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    +1 I think admit is the most natural choice. – Robusto Aug 27 at 19:10
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    disclose sounds odd. I would have up-voted if you had just the first example. – Reimius Aug 27 at 19:48
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I think what you are looking for may be the verb to claim. The first definition in the online Cambridge dictionary is as follows:-

to say that something is true or is a fact, although you cannot prove it and other people might not believe it:claim

For the noun claim it gives (among others) the following:

a claim that something is true or is a fact, although other people might not believe it.

It gives some examples of this that seem to me at least close to what you are saying, since your denial that you are making the claim is showing modesty, self restraint. Your sentence as a whole would commonly be described as a disclaimer. So it seems to fit. Here are some examples.

  • His claim to be an important and unjustly neglected painter is sheer self-deception - he's no good at all.
    • There is a growing body of evidence to support their claim.
    • Many experts remain sceptical about his claims.
    • I suspect his claims are not all they seem - he tends to exaggerate.
    • I haven't seen one iota of evidence to support his claim.
    • His claim to be an important and unjustly neglected painter is sheer self-deception - he's no good at all.
    • I suspect his claims are not all they seem - he tends to exaggerate.
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You're looking for stipulate. From Collins, British definition 1:

to specify, often as a condition of an agreement

Right off the bat I want to stipulate that I do not have all the answers.

  • 1
    Stipulate is a very good answer and that’s one of the typical ways this word is used. – whiskeychief Aug 28 at 0:43

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