Halliday & Matthiessen (2014: 542):
There is no mental process corresponding to fact or chance, no implication of a conscious participant that is doing the projecting. Unlike nominal groups with nouns of projection, nominal groups with fact nouns are not nominalisations of projection nexuses. A fact, as already pointed out, is an impersonal projection.
However, it is possible for a fact to enter into a ‘mental’ process clause without being projected by it. In this case it functions as a Phenomenon within the mental process clause. For example:The fact [[that he rides in such exalted company]] will not deter Scott.
With the heavy expenditure on new rating, plus a new street costing 1,000,000, the cost of the Pump Room, new Municipal Offices, and so on, the eventual rates are likely to deter people from coming to live in the town, as they would probably be influenced more by excessively high rates than by the fact [[that there was a luxury swimming bath for use in winter]].
He overlooked the fact [[that Ceylon had to be governed not only in the first few years after independence but for all time]]; and this raises several questions.
Sternberg himself photographed the film, revelling in such pure artificiality, regretting only [[that he had to use real water]].
You know I smoke and I hate it. I hate [[that I do it]]. And I’m at that point where I have to make the decision. I can’t go on any longer with it.