Do these sentences mean exactly the same?

  1. Frankly speaking, I can't stand her.
  2. To be candid, I can't stand her.

From dictionary definitions, I guess "frankly speaking" is a little bit more direct. Am I right?

1 Answer 1


"Frank" has more of an edge to it. If I were being frank with someone, it might suggest that I am being honest with them to the point of revealing things that they may not be happy to hear. Ex:

Frankly, I cannot stand the sound of your chewing.

"Candid" is more like, openly sharing how you feel and who you are, but not in a way that might hurt another's feelings. While it may do that, it's almost like a less aggressive type of honesty than frankness, so typically being candid is better received than being frank, or at least it comes across as more empathetic or thoughtful. Ex:

I'd like to be candid and share my thoughts on how dinner went last night.

Sounds different than:

I'd like to be frank and share my thoughts on how dinner went last night.

But this almost implies that you have something "bad" to say about dinner.

Overall, it is true that there is some vagueness as to the difference between the two words, and it would be highly contextual as to which is more appropriate. There is definitely some overlap in their meaning and in my opinion they can be used interchangeably.

  • 2
    To me "candid" is more about saying things I would rather not say, while "frank" is more about saying things the hearer may not wish to hear.
    – Peter
    Dec 15, 2021 at 5:27
  • @Peter Good point! Well put.
    – Julien
    Dec 15, 2021 at 5:46

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