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Is it appropriate to use "in fact" or "as a matter of fact" as a linker between the two sentences? If neither is suitable, which one should be used here?

The comedian who primarily performs on TV directed his first movie last month. In fact, I had high hopes of seeing this film when I heard about it.

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    Don't worry about whether to use "in fact" or "as a matter of fact". Either or neither would be perfectly natural in your construction, but native speakers never say "I had great expectancy" in any context. For us to tell you how that should be phrased depends on whether you were optimistic that you would in fact see the film (regardless of what you thought of it), or whether you had high hopes that the film would be very good. Apr 3, 2013 at 17:03
  • "actually" is the word I think of in this kind of usage. This article gives a good basic explanation 'actually', 'in fact' - BBC
    – user485
    Apr 3, 2013 at 17:51
  • @FumbleFingers, what about "I had great expectation to see it"?
    – canoe
    Apr 4, 2013 at 1:56
  • @canoe: That won't really do either. It's a bit dated/formal, but you can still say "I had great expectations" (using the plural). Or, (even more dated) you can say "I had great expectations of this film". But far more likely today you'd say "I had high hopes of seeing this film". Or "I had high hopes of this film being good", if as per previous comment, it's the quality of the film you're optimistic about, rather than just being optimistic about the likelihood of you getting to see it at all. Apr 4, 2013 at 2:15

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In fact or as a matter of fact are used for emphasizing what you think is the true situation or the most important point, especially one opposite to what might be expected from the previous statement. Since this is not the case (unless you're a person known for not expecting to see any/that movie) you should just say:

The comedian who primarily performs on TV directed his first movie last month. I had great expectancy to see this film when I heard about it.

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  • I am not sure I agree with, "especially one opposite to what might be expected from the previous statement": You could also say "I used to live in France; in fact, not far from where you're going."
    – apaderno
    Apr 3, 2013 at 16:40
  • @kiamlaluno Of course you could say that. Especially doesn't mean Only. In your statements there is a connection between the first one and the second one: the place I used to live in France is not far from where you're going. This is not the case in the OP's statements. Apr 3, 2013 at 16:48

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