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Hi:

One of my friends asked me a multiple choice question today regarding "fact" and "truth" problem. Before that I always used them interchangeably, but when I saw the question my hunch told me that the "truth" is right. So please kindly explain. Besides, I have also found an artilce explaining the differences between the two, as follows. Please also proofread it and indicate if what it says is correct. (In our native Chinese language the fact can be an aspect of a thing or one part of the truth, which is temporary, whereas the truth can be eternal. so English and Chinese may be different in this use)Thanks very much!

Question:

I said I like the movie. But the ________ is,I don't.
A.truth B.fact C.matter D.answer

Explanations I found online:

In terms of permanence, a fact happens to be more permanent, and almost always seems to have no changes. It is more constant than truths. For example, when you say that the sun will always rise from the east and set in the west, you are telling a fact, but when you say that you are in Los Angeles, then that is a truth, at least for that exact moment. Several hours from that time you may have gone somewhere else, making your previous statement a fallacy. Thus, a truth is something that is not universal, it is more subjective, and depends on the current situation. That’s why the truth’s existence is said to be more temporary than that of facts.

1. Facts are more objective when compared to the more subjective truths.
2. Facts are more permanent when compared to the more temporary truths.
3. Facts exist in reality, whereas truths are usually the things that one believes to be true, or the things that are true in the current situation.
4. Facts can also answer the ‘where,’ ‘when’ and ‘how’ questions, whereas truths answer the ‘why’ question.
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yanxI said I like the movie. But the __ is,I don't.
A.truth B.fact C.matter D.answer
I believe the intended reasoning is this:

I said I like the movie, but I don't. Therefore, I told a lie.

The opposite of telling a lie is telling the truth. So the answer is A truth.

CJ
Comments  
yanxI said I like the movie. But the __ is,I don't.
A.truth B.fact C.matter D.answer
In this instance both "fact" and "truth" are idiomatic and mean more or less the same thing.

Generally speaking, "truth" tends to have more to do with human affairs, values and perceptions, while "fact" tends to have more to do with objective reality. This is not an exact and clear-cut division though. There are also idiomatic differences in the way the words are used. For example, while you might say "it's a fact", you'd be less likely to say "it's a truth". Instead, you'd usually say "it's the truth".
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I would agree with all of this as another native english speaker, but as someone who spent several years studying Modal Logics, I would add that a fact refers to an object where as a truth refers to a value.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Opinion and belief cannot be truth because truth cannot be false. Opinion and belief can be false. So can matters of fact. A matter of fact can be logically opposite of what it truly is. So it can be true that an answer is false and it can be false that an answer is true. The dichotomy of true/false is the matter of fact.

Truth, is another matter entirely. Truth cannot be false, thus is a tautology. In other words a tautology is always true. However it cannot be true that 2 plus 2 sums to five. It also cannot be true that 2 plus 2 does not sum to four. Thus logic and math are about truth,
Anonymous I would agree with all of this as another native english speaker, but as someone who spent several years studying Modal Logics, I would add that a fact refers to an object where as a truth refers to a value.
and belief and opinion are about matters of fact. Intuitive logic is built into the human mind and computers. Truly intuitive is always true, but if one claims that 2 plus 2 does not sum to four, it is a fact that he is mistaken. The basis of the mistake is a failure to apply the test of truth vs. fact. Ignorance is not a proof of truth or a disproof. One can ignore facts and get by with it, but not truth. As the Senator said, “You are entitled to your opinion even if false, but you are not entitled to your own truth.”
Mankind has identified a deity that determines possible and impossible, but not factually true or factually false. Anselm said, “God is that than which nothing higher is possible.” Truth fills that need. Nothing is true without Truth, God; and nothing is false without Truth, God. God rules the possible and the impossible, nature rules matters of fact. Even nature is ruled by Truth and influenced by the impossible. You can create facts on the ground, but you cannot overrule Truth, God. You can assign a different name to any factual reality or belief, but you cannot change what something is or its possibility. You can ignore Truth, but you cannot overrule Truth. Even an atheist believes in a higher power, the power of truth, for he believes that it is true that there is no God. But, if it were true, then Truth would be “…that than which nothing higher is possible.” Even God requires Truth, because Truth is required if there is God and if God is not. So God, as most believe, is a matter of fact (or matters of fact that are not true), but as Truth, God is certain and it is not possible that God is not. Truth is always true and never false. God is, always was, and will always be everywhere and in all time.

Read more: Difference Between Fact and Truth | Difference Between | Fact vs Truth
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