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The English "to be true" can be translated to Spanish as either ser cierto or ser verdad. What is the difference between the two? When would you use one instead of the other?

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There's no difference. "Ser cierto" is a bit more formal way for "ser verdad" but they are interchangeable in most of cases.

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The way I see it:

  • es cierto = it's true
  • es la verdad = it's the truth
  • es verdadero = it's authentic

Note, that "verdad" is noun, not adjective.

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you should think as 'cierto' = right / correct and 'verdad' = true.

'cierto' it's normally used as "es cierto" which means "that's right." while "verdad", normally used as "es verdad" means "that's true.'

ser cierto / ser verdad, even it can be ok depending the sentence, it's not used quite often.

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¡Bienvenido a Spanish.SE! Esperamos ver tus contribuciones a menudo :) – JoulSauron Aug 11 '12 at 15:48

Verdad is a noun, Cierto is an adjective.

In practice, they can be used almost interchangeably. Just make sure the syntax is correct for the type of word you're using ;)

Es cierto // Es la verdad // Es verdad

Lo cierto es que... // La verdad es que...

Es cierto lo que dices // Es verdad lo que dices...

However, some constructs will only appear one way:

Dime la verdad.

Of course, cierto is basically identical to verdadero.

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Strictly speaking, there is a difference: "es cierto" means that something is manifestly true, with certitude.

In current common use, however, there are equivalent: "es verdad = es cierto = it's true".

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And the difference is...? – CesarGon Aug 23 '12 at 0:38
If you don't see a difference between "true" and "known with certitude as true" (see the definition of DRAE), I don't think I'll can explain it. – leonbloy Aug 23 '12 at 1:24
Your answer states that there is a difference, and then explains what "cierto" means, but fails to explain what "verdad" means. This hardly accounts for a full answer, and hence my query. If you can't explain it, well, what's the point in writing an answer then? ;-) – CesarGon Aug 23 '12 at 13:52
"verdad"="true" "cierto"="certainly true" – leonbloy Aug 23 '12 at 14:24

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