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The English adverb in fact has two meanings, at least in my variety of American English:

  1. indeed

    I can assure you that this is in fact the man I saw coming out of your office yesterday.

  2. moreover, what's more

    Claudia loves to play golf. In fact, she moved to Florida so she could play every day.

Does the Russian word фактически also express either or both these nuances, or does it mean something completely different?

  • I feel that the second meaning more or less the same as the first in that it stressed the truth of the fact. As the most general translation I would use "на самом деле". For a situation like the second one you may use "по сути" to sound better ("на самом деле" doesn't sound exactly right here, especially if you are writing and people have time to re-read the statement) – Shady_arc Jun 21 '14 at 19:33
  • The first meaning is very concrete and assertive and usually appears in the middle of the statement. The second one introduces an afterthought, as it were, further to a previous statement. To me they are quite distinct both semantically and syntactically. – CocoPop Jun 21 '14 at 19:39
  • "В самом деле" and "на самом деле" have different meanings in Russian. – RussianTeacher Jun 21 '14 at 19:52
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I would translate "фактически" as "in reality". In the colloquial speech it is used with the meaning of "almost, nearly":

Он работает преподавателем, но фактически руководит кафедрой. He works as a teacher, but in reality he runs the department.

Операция была фактически завершена. The operation was almost finished.

I would translate your examples like that:

Я могу вас заверить, что это действительно (в самом деле) тот мужчина - я видел, как он выходил из твоего офиса вчера.

Клаудия любит играть в гольф, более того, она переехала во Флориду, чтобы играть каждый день.

Клаудия так любит играть в гольф, что она даже переехала во Флориду, чтобы играть каждый день.

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  • So if I understand you correctly, фактически (1) doesn't coincide with either of the English meanings of "in fact" above?; (2) colloquially, it is used like практически; (3) otherwise synonymous with причем, мало того. Is this all correct? – CocoPop Jun 21 '14 at 19:32
  • Yes, it doesn't coincide with either of the English meanings. Yes, colloquially, it is used as "практически" or "почти". In your second example with "in fact", it can be translated as "более того", "мало того" or "причём". – RussianTeacher Jun 21 '14 at 19:52

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