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    #1

    Face and confront

    Hi, what is the diffrence between face and confront?

    "He started speaking about an “empathy deficit” crippling the country,
    about the severity of the problems that America faced and the epic failure to confront them. Slowly, subtly, tentatively, Obama seemed to be trying on the mantle of a national leader.

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    #2

    Re: Face and confront

    [not a teacher]

    I think here, "confront" has the sense of choice, the sense of doing something, whereas "face" simply means to acknowledge.

    One might “stand and face their accuser” and be silent, while "confronting" would entail action, perhaps saying or doing something.

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    #3

    Re: Face and confront

    ... about the severity of the problems that America faced and the epic failure to confront them.

    Often "face" and "confront" can have the same meaning: "He was forced to face/confront the reality, he was bankrupt".
    But there can be a difference, as is indicated by your example where it says that America faced (is presented with) problems but that it has not confronted (fully acknowledged, engaged with) those problems.
    When someone does try to deal with a problem that they face, it is often said that they "face up to it".

    not a teacher

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