faced with a world famine

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l3376876

Banned
Chinese, Taiwan
1. If the numbers increase as they are doing now, we'll be faced with the world famine soon.
2. If the numbers increase as they are doing now, we'll face the world famine soon.
When these 2 sentences are translated into Chinese, they're about the same. Nevertheless, there is a subtle difference between them, that is, 1. implies we are passively forced to face the music. Is my instinct right?
 
  • Song Sprite

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    Yeah, that's right. To face something is something you do voluntarily. To be faced with something is... what you said. Passively forced on you.
     

    jennijenni

    Senior Member
    American English (AE) / USA
    1. If the numbers increase as they are doing now, we'll be faced with the world famine soon.
    2. If the numbers increase as they are doing now, we'll face the world famine soon.
    When these 2 sentences are translated into Chinese, they're about the same. Nevertheless, there is a subtle difference between them, that is, 1. implies we are passively forced to face the music. Is my instinct right?
    Song Sprite gives an excellent explanation, although the difference is subtle even for natives. One important grammatical difference is that the first sentence uses an "active tense" (the subject is doing the action) whereas the second sentence is in the "passive tense" (the subject is having the action done unto it.) Passive tense is considered poor style. For that reason, I would use "we'll face." I would make some changes to your sentence to read more smoothly.

    "If numbers [what numbers? too vague] continue to increase as they have over the past year, we'll face world famine soon."

    Note that, both in front of "numbers" and "world famine," you should drop the article, "the."
     

    Song Sprite

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    Note that, both in front of "numbers" and "world famine," you should drop the article, "the."
    If this sentence were the beginning of a speech or something, then yeah, you're right. However, I read it as an excerpt from the middle of an article, referring back to previously mentioned numbers and a previously mentioned world famine. If that were the case, then I would use "the numbers" and "the world famine".
     

    jennijenni

    Senior Member
    American English (AE) / USA
    If this sentence were the beginning of a speech or something, then yeah, you're right. However, I read it as an excerpt from the middle of an article, referring back to previously mentioned numbers and a previously mentioned world famine. If that were the case, then I would use "the numbers" and "the world famine".
    Good point. I guess there isn't enough context to know for certain.
     
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