behold face to face

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chong lee

Senior Member
türkçe
Hi,
The quote is from The Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy.

"Behold" means "to look at". But in this passage I did not understand "behold face to face".

Could you help,thanks.

She had passed the recent hour in lamenting over a rumour newly come to her ears—that Yeobright's visit to his mother was to be of short duration, and would end some time the next week. "Naturally," she said to herself. A man in the full swing of his activities in a gay city could not afford to linger long on Egdon Heath. That she would behold face to face the owner of the awakening voice within the limits of such a holiday was most unlikely, unless she were to haunt the environs of his mother's house like a robin, to do which was difficult and unseemly.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Here, behold = see. "That she would see, face to face, the owner of the awakening voice within the limits of such a holiday was most unlikely, ..."
     

    chong lee

    Senior Member
    türkçe
    I got it, but how did you find the missing commas? Is there a way to figure it out?
     
    Last edited:

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    If you do not know the phrase, 'face to face', there is not really a way to work it out.

    The use is "to see/talk to/meet, etc someone face to face." In the example, the normal word order is not followed: instead of saying "she would behold the owner of the awakening voice face to face", Hardy as moved the [adverbial] phrase, which now should be placed within commas: "she would behold, face to face, the owner of the awakening voice "
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    In case it isn't obvious, face to face means that people are facing each other. We might also sometimes use the French-derived phrase in English: vis-à-vis. Today, the phrase is sometimes used to just mean 'in person': we often contrast face-to-face (or in internet jargon f2f) meetings with virtual meetings.
     
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