You know the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, and it's a general fact. Then, If I say just 'the sun rises' to describe the general fact, is it wrong? Must the verb modified because the sun doesn't always rise?

  • 1
    I don't understand. Simple present for general facts. If you are claiming a general fact then simple present. You seem to answer the question before you ask it!
    – James K
    Jan 10, 2021 at 10:34
  • We say the sun sinks, and then sets when it disappears below the horizon. Jan 10, 2021 at 10:38
  • I think 'rises' doesn't always mean 'always rises,' looking at your comments... Jan 10, 2021 at 10:43
  • I mean it doesn't need to be a general fact but just a fact. Jan 10, 2021 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


Your question is a philosophical one, not a matter for English.

For example, I could say, "The Sun does not rise. It only appears to rise because the Earth is spinning on its axis." Now people could agree or disagree according to their religious beliefs or their linguistic interpretation.

In English language studies we don't deal with philosophical truth - we deal with grammar.

Thus grammatically, "The Sun rises" is a statement not a fact. It may be true, false or nonsense, but it is still a statement.

Here is a sample conversation, addressing the grammar:

Q: What happens at dawn?

A: The Sun rises.

Regardless of facts, the above conversation is grammatically correct. The following conversation is also grammatically correct.

Q: What happens at dawn?

A: A rainbow appears in the sky. (This is a grammatically correct statement. The question of its truth does not change the grammar)

P.S. You may be interested in studying the difference between syntax (grammar) and semantics (meaning), however neither syntax nor semantics say anything about truth (fact).

Facts are the province of philosophy. If you are really interested in going down that rabbit-hole, you will discover a need to understand epistemology and ontology!


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