"The Earth is big." is an opinion.

"Earth is 10 miles in diameter" is something that can be proven either true or false. It's not a fact, because facts are true. Is there a word for a statement that isn't an opinion? In other words, a statement that is either true or false.

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    hypothesis, conjecture, or any number of synonyms. Please go through them yourself. :) – NVZ May 27 '17 at 7:27
  • The point is that such a statement can be refuted through the proper collection and analysis of data (or some equivalent research approach). A statement that the earth is big is more than an opinion if the statement is that it is big is in comparison to other objects relevant in some way--in relation to other planetary systems around others suns (stars). – Xanne May 27 '17 at 7:41
  • A concrete statement? Please look up 'concrete vs abstract' and 'general vs specific' (meanings and difference) – English Student May 27 '17 at 7:54
  • @English Student What is a "concrete statement"? The fact is that facts are always relative. Even 1 + 1 = 2, is only true if you are using a denary system of counting. In binary 1 + 1 = 11. Hence ipso facto (by the fact alone) there are no facts. Or are there? Pythagoras is only true on a level plain, isn't it? – WS2 May 27 '17 at 9:08
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    OP please see the excellent answer of Evan, whose suggestion verifiable is the best, literal and simplest adjective for your case, as in "Earth is 10 miles in diameter" is a verifiable statement -- it can be proved either true or false. 'Empirical' suggested by Evan is also a good option. If you need a noun, the right word is empiricism dictionary.com/browse/empiricism which is defined as "(4) an empirical conclusion" where empirical means "(3)provable or verifiable by experience or experiment" dictionary.com/browse/empirical – English Student May 28 '17 at 2:12

Is there a word for a statement that isn't an opinion? In other words, a statement that is either true or false.

I would call it a factual statement.

Something that is factual is concerned with facts or contains facts, rather than giving theories or personal interpretations.

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    Good choice, and keeps it simple! In the question OP however seems to assert that a factual statement must necessarily be true: "... something that can be proven either true or false. It's not a fact, because facts are true." – English Student May 27 '17 at 10:58
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    @EnglishStudent A false factual statement is still a factual statement. – michael.hor257k May 27 '17 at 13:39
  • In this case, factual is only saying that the statement concerns facts, not whether or not those facts are true. Unfortunately, however, some people may assume that factual statement means true statement so one my want to be careful when using the term. – Roger Sinasohn May 27 '17 at 14:17
  • @RogerSinasohn Can a statement which is definitely not true be considered a fact? I think not. – Evan May 28 '17 at 0:57
  • @Evan -- Well, in the US today, I'm afraid the answer is yes... But other than that, no, it cannot be considered a fact. Such a statement, however, is concerned with what is actually the case (whether or not it is correct) so it is a factual statement. I will agree that the term is not used that way generally speaking, hence my caveat to be careful using it. – Roger Sinasohn May 28 '17 at 5:05


an assertion of something as a fact



I think the word which best complements the word "opinion" is "belief:"

conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence.

An opinion is a way that someone feels about something, and a belief is something that some person (or some animal, I guess) thinks is true. They're both the same in that people have them.

However, based on the way you worded your question, it seems like you're just looking for a word which refers to an objective statement without calling that statement a fact. In that case you could use "proposition:"

An expression in language or signs of something that can be believed, doubted, or denied or is either true or false

or maybe "hypothesis."

A possible adjective to describe statements which are either true or false is "Objective:"

Expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations.

Another word, "empirical:"

Capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment

I don't really like here, because in my experience, "empirical" is typically used to refer to a proposition which can not be reasoned about (i.e. requires data collection).

I think "verifiable:"

capable of being verified

has a similar problem, because there are statements which are objective but not verifiable (i.e. "God exists.")

  • +1 for a really good answer! All your options are good, but sometimes we tend not see the best word (until you pointed it out) though it's quite obvious -- the best, literal and simplest fit for OP's question, I now realise, is your suggestion verifiable. – English Student May 27 '17 at 23:13
  • I don't actually like "verifiable" very much for this case. First, I believe OP is asking for a noun. Second, it's easy make a proposition (or hold a belief) that is not verifiable (by humans). For example: "God exist." I really think "proposition" and "belief" are the right words; the best one to use depends on the context. – Evan May 28 '17 at 1:05
  • Reading the question again, I see that OP specifically wants a word that means "statement that is either true or false" which is basically a 'verifiable statement' or an 'empirical statement' -- in fact there is a word called 'empiricism' with this meaning [see meaning 4 here: dictionary.com/browse/empiricism ] that might be the ideal word for OP?! – English Student May 28 '17 at 2:09

I posted a similar question to Linguistics SE (maybe inappropriately):


The best answer I got (in my opinion) was empirical claim.


Binary is the term which represent two values. So question which can have only two possible outcomes can be termed as Binary Questions.

For example: Questions which can have answer like True/False, Yes/No are Binary Questions.

Source: Quora: What is a binary question?


It is a simple "dichotomy". In the case of your example, the dichotomy is either "true" or "false". It is the basis for what is known as a "dichotomous key".



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