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How to correctly describe in English the insufficiency of evidence presented by only one fact? I am especially interested in the possibility of using the adverb merely here.

A: But he was also at the store at the time of the holdup, so he is also a criminal.
B: How do you know that?
A: He was also at the store at that moment!
B: You are being illogical.
A: Why on earth am I being illogical?
B: That's just crazy! I mean, merely the fact that he was at the store at that moment does not mean that he was also one of the robbers!

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    Try this: just because he was there... does not mean that... – Michael Rybkin Feb 3 '18 at 4:40
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    Or this: the mere fact that he was there... does not necessarily mean/imply that... – Michael Rybkin Feb 3 '18 at 4:47
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B: That's just crazy! I mean, merely the fact that he was at the store at that moment does not mean that he was also one of the robbers!

Merely is an adverb and placing this before "the fact", simplifies this fact. This is an accurate sentence. Other ways of phrasing it would be:

  • The mere fact that he was at the store does not imply that he was one of the robbers (putting the adjective before the noun makes the sentence more snappy)
  • Merely the fact that he was at the store, does not mean he is a robber (same structure but written in a simpler form)
  • Just because he was at the store, does not mean he was one of the robbers
  • His whereabouts are circumstantial
  • The fact that he was at the store does not imply he is one of the robbers
  • His being at the store does not imply guilt
  • The simple fact that he was at the store, does not imply he is a robber (can use both past and present, does not mean is "was a robber at the time" or "is still a robber now".
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