Difference Between Fact vs Opinion
So, what is the difference between fact and opinion? This question has been asked by many people over the decades when studying English language and it’s quite easy to separate the two once we know a little more about their definitions.
Whether you’re trying to resolve any confusion over these two words so that you can use them both effectively as part of spoken language or you’re trying to make them work from a contextual perspective when writing, we’re going to ensure that by the end of today’s post, you’re completely confident with them both. Ready to find out more? Simply read on for everything you need to know.
Definition of Fact
The definition of fact is: “A statement that is true, based on concrete evidence.”
The difference between opinion and fact can sometimes be incredibly confusing due to the way in which they can both be stated in spoken word. This is because those who believe that their opinions are valid often speak as though they are stating a fact when they offer them.
However, whereas a fact requires qualification and evidence to be classed as such, an opinion is just the way that someone thinks or feels about a certain subject or circumstance.
Though an opinion can be offered with a strong sense of belief to the extent that it can sound like the person is stating a fact, it’s important to remember that an opinion simply cannot be a fact unless it has been proven to be categorically true.
We’re also unable to define opinions by any set criteria as they are all vastly different, but facts must adhere to strict criteria in that we must have some kind of proof that what we’re saying is true, otherwise it simply cannot be classed as a fact.
Definition of Opinion
The definition of opinion is: “A thought process or belief stated about a subject or circumstance that is a representation of the way that an individual feels about it.”
When comparing opinion vs fact, all you need to remember is that an opinion has no definitive structure and can take on absolutely any form. On balance, though facts can differ dramatically from one another depending on the subject matter they relate to they must all be qualified first.
You may offer an opinion on something and believe it to be true, but unless there is any concrete evidence that what you’re saying is the only singular, true version of events in relation to that subject, then it would be impossible to categorize your statements or beliefs as fact.
When using these two words as part of spoken language, always be careful not to state that any sentence being offered as an opinion is a fact unless you have first proven with evidence that this is indeed the case.
Main Differences Between Fact vs Opinion
The following table highlights the main differences between fact vs opinion effectively:
|Basis of Comparison||Fact||Opinion|
|Structure||Must be proven by evidence||Can take on any structure|
|Element of truth||A fact (or a series of facts) must always contain the absolute truth||Opinions may include elements of the truth, but do not require the absolute truth to be present|
|Presence of change||Facts do not change||Opinions can change|
|Can it be debated?||No||Yes|
|Usually based on||Qualified and verified research and observation||Assumptions or personal perspectives|
|Verification||Can be verified||Cannot be verified|
|Nature||Entirely objective||Subjective and based on personal perspective|
Difference Between Fact and Opinion: Conclusion
So after reading through today’s post, we find in summary that facts and opinions are markedly different. It’s easy to summarize them merely by the presence of both the truth and evidence alone.
Always remember that a fact must contain the truth to be a fact, but an opinion can contain absolutely any verbal or written content whatsoever in order to be an opinion. There is simply no criteria required for the latter. We hope that you now finally feel confident enough to use both of these words going forward.