For a long time, I had only known the phrase "matter of fact" to be used in "as a matter of fact..." However, for quite a few days, I have also been hearing, "the fact of the matter is..." in news debates.

Are these one and the same? If not, how and where they can be used?

  • I'm not familiar with "matter of the fact", unless you mean "matter of fact". The fact of the matter is that, as a matter of fact, I am familiar with both phrases "the fact of the matter" and "as a matter of fact". – Doc Feb 18 '14 at 17:02
  • "The fact of the matter" is a phrase meaning "the truth"/"in truth". Whereas in "matter of the fact" each word is to be taken with its primary meaning. Are you sure you're not mistaking "matter of the fact" with "matter of fact" which is another idiom? – None Feb 18 '14 at 17:04
  • @Doc oh, I am sure wrong. please explain me the two you mentioned. – Ankit Feb 18 '14 at 17:11
  • @Laure corrected the question please explain. – Ankit Feb 18 '14 at 17:13

Assuming that you meant "matter of fact" (as opposed to "matter of the fact"), there is a difference between the two idioms.

"Matter of fact" (often used in a sentence as 'as a matter of fact, ...") is described by Mirriam-Webster as:

adhering to the unembellished facts; also : being plain, straightforward, or unemotional

Often the phrase is used to explain that a previously stated 'fact' or detail which was thought to be unlikely actually is in fact true or alternatively to counter a previous statement. Examples (from The Free Dictionary:

"As a matter of fact, John came into the room while you were talking about him."

"I'm not a poor worker. As a matter of fact, I'm very efficient."

"Fact of the matter" means simply "the truth". It's typically used to emphasize a fact (perhaps one that has been debated) but which isn't really a valid thing to debate about.

"The fact of the matter is that unless we drive faster, we wont arrive on time."

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  • +1 - I agree. The use of the fact of the matter is very emphatic, whether it is the truth or not. – anongoodnurse Feb 18 '14 at 17:22
  • what about "after the matter of fact" – Muhammad Umer Mar 18 '19 at 15:46
  • @MuhammadUmer "After the matter of fact" is not a phrase I am familiar with, and I'm not sure how such a phrase would be used. – Doc Apr 2 '19 at 15:31

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