Identifying Facts and Opinions
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Basics on the topic Identifying Facts and Opinions
What is a fact and an opinion? How do we identify facts and opinions? Learn all about facts and opinions with this video!
Identifying Facts and Opinions
Every day of our lives, we hear or read facts and opinions, but sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. Learn the difference between a fact and an opinion with the help of examples, fact or opinion videos and worksheets with answers!
Facts and Opinions – Definition
A fact is a piece of information that is true, and that can be proven by research. You cannot agree or disagree with a fact. For example:
It is known that caterpillars turn into butterflies.
An opinion is how a person feels or thinks about something. You can agree or disagree with an opinion. Here is an example of an opinion:
Butterflies are the most beautiful insects because they are colourful.
As you can see from the fact and opinion examples above, they can talk about the same topic, but be very different in nature. It is important to differentiate between a fact and an opinion to know what is actually true, and what is someone’s point of view.
Even though you might disagree with someone’s opinion, you still need to respect what they say. You can have a different opinion than someone else, but don’t forget to still be polite!
Identifying Facts and Opinions
When identifying fact and opinion in text, we need to look for certain clues. When we identify facts, we look for true statements that include time words (dates or time), or clue phrases: it is known or it is a fact.
When we identify opinions, we look for adjectives and descriptive words as well as for “I” statements, such as I think, I feel, I believe. When you come across a piece of information that you are not sure about, ask yourself, can I agree or disagree with it? Because if you can, it is an opinion!
Use this fact or opinion anchor chart to remember how to identify facts and opinions:
| Time words (dates and times)
Clue phrases (it is known, it is a fact)
Can be proven by research
| Adjectives and descriptive words
Can be disagreed with
Now let’s practise! Take a look at these facts or opinions examples: * 1) I think science fiction books are exciting and educational. * 2) The first science fiction novel was written in 1818.
Can you identify which sentence includes a fact and which – an opinion?
The first sentence includes an opinion because it uses an ”I” statement (I think), and adjectives such as exciting and educational. Also, someone who doesn’t like science fiction books, can disagree with this opinion.
The second sentence describes a fact. It includes a date (1818) and it can be easily proven by research.
Identifying Facts and Opinions – Summary
Let’s review what we have learnt about identifying facts and opinions.
- You can identify facts by looking for true statements that include time words or certain clue phrases.
- You can identify opinions by looking for ”I” statements and descriptive words.
- Facts are truth and opinions are something that we can either agree or disagree with.
Now you can identify whether something is an opinion or a fact. If you want more practice, check out our fact and opinion video for kids, fact and opinion activity and download fact and opinion worksheets.
Frequently Asked Questions about Facts and Opinions
Identifying Facts and Opinions exercise
What are facts and opinions?Hints
An example of a fact is: New Year's Day is in January.
This has a time word, and cannot be argued with.
An example of an opinion is: Pizza is the most delicious food of all time!
This has a descriptive word, and can be agreed with and disagreed with.Solution
You can identify facts by looking for true statements. These can include time words or clue phrases.
Example: Sharks use gills to breathe underwater.
You can identify opinions by looking for adjectives, descriptive words or "I" statements.
Example: I think sharks are the most interesting ocean animal.
Which of these is a fact?Hints
Remember, a fact is something that can be proved correct.
Facts can have time words and numbers involved.Solution
The fact is: There are 365 days in one (non-leap) year.
This is true and can be proved correct.
Is this a fact or opinion?Hints
Remember, a fact is true and can be proved correct.
Remember, an opinion is something people can agree or disagree with.
"Spiders are cool!" is an opinion, because not all people think that.Solution
Humans need food and water to survive. This is a fact. It is true, and can be proven. This cannot be disagreed with.
The best food to eat is spaghetti. This is an opinion. It is how someone thinks or feels and others may agree or disagree.
Which of these are facts?Hints
A fact can be proved correct.
Facts can have time words. For example: Christmas is on December 25th.
There are three facts to highlight.Solution
The three facts are:
- It is known that fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals.
- Halloween is celebrated on 31st October.
- Dolphins are mammals that live in the ocean.
Which of these is an opinion?Hints
Remember, an opinion is how someone thinks or feels about something.
An opinion can be agreed or disagreed with. Which of these statements could someone agree or disagree with?
An example of an opinion is: I think peanut butter tastes better than jam.Solution
The opinion statement is: I think plants are nice to have in your house.
This sentence has an "I" statement and the adjective, nice. This can be agreed with or disagreed with.
Separate the facts and opinions.Hints
Remember, an opinion can include adjectives and descriptive words. You can agree or disagree with an opinion.
Example: Maths is better than science.
Remember, a fact is something that is true, and proved by research.
Example: The heart pumps blood around the body.Solution
Facts can be proved correct. The three facts here are:
- Earth is a planet.
- An apple is a fruit.
- Dogs have four legs.
- The ocean is really pretty.
- I think going to the cinema is fun.
- Purple is the best colour.