The fact is, she lived in Japan until she was seventeen

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wanabee

Senior Member
Japanese
Dear all,

A: Her English sounds awkward, doesn't it?
B: It does. As you know, the fact is, she lived in Japan until she was seventeen.

I made up the sentences. I would like to know if "the fact is" is properly used there. It's my understanding that "the fact is" is used when the speaker wants to emphasize the fact that comes after it, and that the fact can be something the listners already know about, as in my sentence.

I would appreciate any comments.
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    A: Her English sounds awkward, doesn't it?
    B: It does. As you know, the fact is, she lived in Japan until she was seventeen.
    Sentence B sounds very unnatural to me. You could start by saying either "As you know..." or "The fact is..." but having both in the same sentence doesn't work.
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Dear all,

    A: Her English sounds awkward, doesn't it?
    B: It does. As you know, the fact is, she lived in Japan until she was seventeen.

    I made up the sentences. I would like to know if "the fact is" is properly used there. It's my understanding that "the fact is" is used when the speaker wants to emphasize the fact that comes after it, and that the fact can be something the listners already know about, as in my sentence.
    "The fact is" is commonly used when you think that a person should know about something, but doesn't:

    I know it would be nice if we could learn foreign languages in a single day, but the fact is, we can't.

    Therefore, I wouldn't use it in your sentence: "The fact is, she lived in Japan until she was seventeen" makes it seem as though the other person (who said her English sounded awkward) thinks she didn't live in Japan, even though the person has been informed of this fact before.

    For the same reason, I would say that "The fact is" doesn't combine very well with "As you know".
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    It might be just my picky nature, but I would not use "the fact is" at all. It's one of those wordy and redundant crutches some people get into the habit of using with almost every statement.

    It's not wrong, but it's one of those expressions that learners should understand are frequently abused.

    See also:

    truth be told
    Truth be told...
    Truth to be told
     
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