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  1. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
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    face to face = in direct communication or confronting each other

    Dear teachers,

    Here is a brief excerpt from an NYT’s article:

    "It was brief, it was unscheduled and it was not substantive, but a meeting Tuesday between Richard C. Holbrooke, a presidential envoy, and an Iranian diplomat marked the first face-to-face encounter between the Obama administration and the government of Iran."

    I know that the expression face-to-face have two different meanings: the former has a positive connotation (in each others presence, close contact, in direct communication, as in: “a face-to-face encounter”, “a face-to-face discussion and the latter has a negative connotation (confronting each other, as in:"they spoke face to face",We were face to face with death during the avalanche”.)

    In my opinion they are poles apart. Would you be kind enough to tell me how do you make the distinguish between the former and the latter meaning?

    Thank you for your efforts.



  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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    Re: face to face = in direct communication or confronting each other

    I don't see them as distinct meanings; it's the proximity that matters- a face-to-face duiscussion could be pleasant or unpleasant, but being face-to-face, there's a lot of visual and other information.

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