1. The expression the fact that has long had an important function in enabling clauses to behave like nouns:

• Some studies give attention to the fact that non-smokers cannot avoid inhaling smoke when breathing smoky air —G. Richardson, 1971

• The fact that I am gay is written down in black and white —Gay News, 1978

• Ethnic minorities will hopefully be tempted into the force by the fact that a black and female PC is given a starring role in the film —Guardian, 1984

• The fact that Nixon was willing to make his chastisement public suggests…that the President at least understands ‘the parameters of the problem’ —Time, 1970.

When standing at the head of a sentence (as in the second and fourth examples), the words the fact can sometimes be omitted without harming grammatical integrity, but a degree of emphasis or focusing is lost. Sentences made to depend on the fact that can often be recast to their advantage in other ways: A small group of western European politicians and activists were in Moscow, drawing public attention to the fact that the mayor of Moscow has banned [read drawing public attention to a ban by the mayor of Moscow on]

• any Gay Pride march —Independent, 2007.

Verbs that can be complemented by a that-clause do not need to be linked by the fact that, so that the sentence ☒ We acknowledge the fact that mistakes have been made can be rephrased as We acknowledge that mistakes have been made, and ☒ They convinced him of the fact that it was right can be rephrased as They convinced him that it was right. The phrases owing to the fact that and despite the fact that can normally be replaced by because and although respectively, thereby producing a more economical and clearer structure. For due to the fact that see due to 4.
2. Fact is used in a number of idioms: in fact, as a matter of fact, in point of fact, the fact is, etc. These often serve to assist the rhythm and continuity of speech, but can easily become overused and redundant in written material.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Fact — [fækt] der; s, s (meist Plur.) <aus gleichbed. engl. fact, dies aus lat. factum, vgl. ↑Faktum> Tatsache, Tatsachenmaterial …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

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