“In Fact” – Comma Rules Explained (Helpful Examples)

“In fact” is a great word to use when you want to be clear about something and add further information. It would help to understand how commas work with “in fact,” so you can be much more comfortable using it correctly.

Where Should I Place The Comma With “In Fact”?

You can place a comma before, after, or around “in fact.” Before “in fact,” we include it as a sentence finisher or part of a larger clause. After “in fact,” we use it as a sentence starter. Around “in fact,” we use the phrase as a parenthetical element.

Where Should I Place The Comma With "In Fact"?

There are three main rules to follow when placing a comma with “in fact,” and each one will be covered more extensively throughout this article.

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When Should I Place A Comma Before “In Fact”?

When you place a comma before “in fact,” you have to make sure that it’s used as a sentence finisher or included as part of a larger clause. Generally, we do this when we want to add emphasis to the importance of a fact.

Sentence Finisher

First, let’s look at how we might end a sentence with “in fact.” It’s perhaps the most obvious and common way to write “in fact” with a comm before it. After it, we are left with a period because we’re ending the sentence.

  1. This was all that I could offer you, in fact.
  2. The government was truly not up to scratch with the expected results, in fact.
  3. He was the best friend I ever had, in fact.

“In fact” as a sentence finisher works with a comma before it. We use it in this way to show that the previous statement was an obvious fact.

Larger Clause

The other time we might use a comma before “in fact” is when we use it as part of a larger clause. Generally, “in fact” is already a subordinate clause, but if we have more to say, then we will use only one comma before it.

  1. The food was good, in fact much better than last time, and I knew I wanted more.
  2. Her singing wasn’t great, in fact it was awful, but I couldn’t tell her that.
  3. My appetite had gone, in fact I just didn’t like the food, but that’s what I told them.

If “in fact” starts a larger clause, we can include a comma before it, and the second comma only comes after the rest of the clause is complete.

When Should I Place A Comma After “In Fact”?

We can place a comma after “in fact” when we use it to start a sentence. Another case where we might use it after is when it is the last word of a parenthetical element (and the comma won’t come before it).

Sentence Starter

First, let’s look at the most common way to use “in fact.” Generally, we start a sentence with “in fact” when it’s linked to the previous one and emphasizes the importance of whatever fact is made.

  1. The people of Egypt were hard workers. In fact, they were some of the hardest workers this planet has ever known.
  2. You won’t be able to start next week. In fact, I don’t think you’re going to be able to start at all with an attitude like that.
  3. We need to find more people to help us. In fact, we need at least thirty more.

“In fact” as a sentence starter works when we want to talk about the importance of the previous sentence or add further information that really shows how impressive something is.

End Of A Parenthetical Element

We might also see “in fact” with a comma after it when it comes at the very end of another parenthetical element. This sentence structure is rare, but it’s possible to come across in the right case.

  1. Thirty of the people here, both men and women in fact, struggled to find work.
  2. Many of the people I see, both old and young in fact, are happy with their lives.
  3. Both of the countries have tried, too many times in fact, but neither of them has succeeded.

When we use “in fact” as the last word in a parenthetical element, it means that the rest of the clause is relevant and adds to the information provided to us. It’s rare to see in this way, but it’s the only other case where we include commas after “In fact.”

When Should I Place Commas Around “In Fact”?

The most common way to see commas with “in fact” is when we use them around the phrase. In this case, “in fact” becomes its own subordinate clause and adds slightly more information to the sentence, even though it can be removed and still make sense.

There is only one way to use commas around “in fact,” which helps us to explain how it works a little easier. The best way to talk about it is to show you some examples:

  1. Forty-five people were, in fact, replaced over the weekend.
  2. This school has, in fact, sixteen thousand dollars to spend on its extra-curriculum activities.
  3. We have, in fact, broken up, but we haven’t told anyone yet.

“In fact” as a parenthetical element works to add powerful information to a sentence. However, it’s possible to remove the “in fact” clause and the sentence will still make sense.

  1. Forty-five people were replaced over the weekend.
  2. This school has sixteen thousand dollars to spend on its extra-curriculum activities.
  3. We have broken up, but we haven’t told anyone yet.

Does “In Fact” Ever Go Without A Comma?

It is possible to use “in fact” without a comma, but there are only ever two cases where this is applicable. When we use “in fact” to modify an adjective or a verb, we might see it without a comma.

Modifying A Verb

  1. She will in fact be there, as she’s told me already about her plans.
  2. He in fact has to attend; otherwise, he’ll be in a great deal of trouble.
  3. You in fact need your books with you.

“In fact” can modify a verb by coming directly before it in a clause or sentence. In this way, we’re talking about how the action of the verb is obvious and no commas are needed to demonstrate this or break up the flow of the sentence.

Modifying An Adjective

  1. That was in fact rude, and you should apologize immediately.
  2. You are in fact pretty, and I don’t think you should beat yourself up about your looks.
  3. He is in fact nice, but he has a habit of being shy.

“In fact” can modify an adjective by coming directly before it, and we use it to show that someone might have thought the opposite about somebody, but after further evaluation, we’ve deemed that something is a “fact.”

Can You Start A Sentence With “In Fact”?

It is possible to start a sentence with “in fact.” We use it as a sentence starter, which helps us to link back to the information in the previous sentence. A comma must always come after “in fact” if we use it in this way.

  1. He has been working here for fifteen years. In fact, he’s the most senior member of staff because of that.
  2. We have plenty of time left to talk about it. In fact, I have all the time in the world if you’re willing.
  3. The government needs to do something to change this policy. In fact, it’s the worst thing they’ve done in a long time, and many people agree.
  4. We must do something together at some point. In fact, we must do something now because I don’t have very long.
  5. I can’t find my glasses, even though I’ve been looking all over for them. In fact, I reckon someone might have stolen them!

“In fact” only works as a sentence starter when we can link it back to the previous sentence. If it’s the first sentence of our writing, or if it has no relevant information linking back to what was previously said, then it would be incorrect to start a sentence with “in fact.”

Is “In Fact” Formal?

“In fact” is a formal phrase to use, and it also works well in informal situations. Many people use “in fact” in essay writing and research papers to show the validity of their findings or the information they are providing.

There are rarely times where “in fact” isn’t formal. The only time you should be careful using it is if you’re doing it in a sarcastic manner.

If you use it sarcastically, it means you’re making a point obvious with “in fact” without needing to make it obvious. We use it in this way to insult somebody else’s intelligence, which isn’t a nice or polite thing to do.

“In Fact” – Synonyms

Some synonyms might help you to try out different words and phrases in your writing. There are a number of good ones for “in fact,” including:

  • Actually
  • In actuality
  • In actual fact
  • Really
  • In reality
  • As a matter of fact
  • In truth
  • If truth be told
  • To tell the truth
  • Indeed