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What would be a single English word that could reflect the phrase (if such a word exists):

I have an answer for your question, but you might not like it.


We corresponded, but you might not like the outcome.

The word shouldn't be an exact equivalent, but must reflect the situation as closely as possible.

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A single word? That's a tall order. – RegDwigнt Aug 3 '12 at 12:40
What research have you done already? – MετάEd Aug 3 '12 at 12:42
@RegDwightАΑA He used the phrase-requests tag, not the single-word-requests tag. – American Luke Aug 3 '12 at 12:43
@Luke: Regardless of the tag, the question asks explicitly for a single word. – Gorpik Aug 3 '12 at 12:45
I'm really tempted to answer with a pun... – Gorpik Aug 3 '12 at 12:47

It really depends on the context of the response or outcome.

However, if I was starting correspondence addressing a question and I knew that they wouldn't be too pleased with the answer, I would probably start with "Unfortunately".

It probably doesn't correlate directly with what you say but I can think of enough scenarios to warrant me suggesting it.

Dear Sir, I bought this tent and it leaks. I would like a refund.

Dear Customer. Unfortunately we can't offer refunds after 28 days.


Can I bring my dog to the hotel?

Unfortunately our policy does not allow pets in the room

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The term regretably conveys something similar and adds a sympathetic tone. – bib Aug 3 '12 at 13:45
@bib, regrettably might do so – jwpat7 Aug 3 '12 at 15:35
@jwpat7 - If I am going to keep hanging out on this site, I had better get better at spelling & avoiding typos. – bib Aug 3 '12 at 16:22

This question reminds me of some I've got some good news, and some bad news jokes.

As for getting it all into one word, you might consider jeremiad, as in:

I have a jeremiad for you.

According to Macmillan:

jeremiad: a long sad complaint or list of things that have gone wrong

It's neither a well-known nor common term, and perhaps it's not an exact fit, either. Then again, as RegDwight said in his comment, it's an awful lot of meaning to pack into one word, and that's the best I could muster.

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I'll be adding this word into my list of words to use! Thanks! – Phonics The Hedgehog Aug 3 '12 at 13:31
Please tell me you didn't know that off the top of your head ... – asymptotically Aug 3 '12 at 13:42
Wiktionary's definition of jeremiad, "A long speech or prose work that bitterly laments the state of society and its morals, and often contains a prophecy of its coming downfall", is more informative and accurate, I think, on how jeremiad actually is used. A jeremiad is more of a reproving diatribe than merely a list of things wrong. – jwpat7 Aug 3 '12 at 15:31
Jeremiad is a wonderful word, but I would certainly not recommend it in this instance. A jeremiad is, as @jwpat7 says, a diatribe, lament, harangue, or rant. – Mark Beadles Aug 3 '12 at 16:03
@jwpat7 & Mark Beadles: I totally agree with both of you. I knew it was a stretch when I posted it, hence my disclaimer. Also, I'd almost added a note about how the word would be typically used to describe a lament, but, after re-reading the O.P.'s question, I thought that "I have an answer for your question, but you might not like it" could, conceivably, be followed by a lament, depending upon the topic being discussed. – J.R. Aug 3 '12 at 21:13

You've requested a "word that could reflect the phrase (if such a word exists): 'I have an answer for your question, but you might not like it'". If this is not a trick question, mirror is the word you want. Or if you mean, reflect the sense of the phrase, then let-down (a noun, idiomatic for "A disappointment or anticlimax") is suitable.

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What about:

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but …

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