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8.2: Reading Skills- Distinguishing Facts from Opinions

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    Fact or Opinion?

    This is a fact

    Facts can be checked somewhere else, and the same information should appear. Facts include the following:

    Sentences that contain a number (e.g., population, size):

    • The area of Fernie is 13.5 km2.
    • Over 90% of the population is descended from European settlers.

    Sentences that contain a date or other historical information:

    • Shred Kelly was formed in 2009.
    • The band first played to a large crowd at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

    Information about science and nature:

    • Fernie has an average of 83.5 cm of snow in January.
    • Fernie is 1,010 metres above sea level.

    Personal descriptions that can be checked:

    • Jordan has dark brown hair and brown eyes.
    • He is working on a degree in counselling psychology.


    This is an opinion

    Ask yourself: Can someone disagree with this? If so, the sentence expresses an opinion, not a fact. Opinions include the following:

    Sentences that start with a verb of thinking or believing:

    • I think Shred Kelly’s music is great.
    • I believe they deserve to achieve international success.

    Sentences that contain an adjective:

    • My local radio station plays the best (worst) music!
    • I saw an amazing (fantastic, great, terrible) band last night!

    Sentences that make a prediction about the future:

    • This band is going to be huge.
    • Fernie will always keep its distinctive character.

    Sentences that say what someone should do:

    • Everyone should try downhill skiing.
    • Radio stations should play more Canadian music.


    You Try It!

    Are the sentences below facts (F) or opinions (O)? Hint: there are five facts and five opinions.

    1.      _____        For winter sports, I think the very best place to visit in B.C. is Fernie.

    2.      _____        The town was founded in 1898 and has a population of around 5,000.

    3.      _____        Originally a mining community, Fernie is now well known as a ski centre.

    4.      _____        Winters in Fernie are a magical time, with lots of fun and excitement.

    5.      _____        Fernie Alpine Resort has 142 ski runs and up to 37 feet of snow each year.

    6.      _____        The restaurants and bars in the town are just as good as those in Vancouver.

    7.      _____        Young people easily find jobs in ski stores, hotels, and restaurants.

    8.      _____        Fernie has produced several Olympic-level skiers and snowboarders.

    9.      _____        If you want a perfect B.C. winter vacation, you should definitely consider Fernie.

    10.  _____        It will be one of B.C.’s best winter destinations for many years to come.

    8.2: Reading Skills- Distinguishing Facts from Opinions is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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