he looked at me right in the face, kind of daring me to look back at him

Vanloon

Senior Member
Hindi
Wonder

I walked toward Jack and followed him out of the auditorium. He held the double doors open for me, and as I passed by, he looked at me right in the face, kind of daring me to look back at him, which I did. Then I actually smiled.

Context: a film called Wonder in which a child who has Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) syndrome stars. Without telling him, his parents want to make him getting new school rather than homeschooling.
Q: I cannot understand the structure of this sentence: he looked at me right in the face, kind of daring me to look back at him, which I did.

As I understand, "kind of daring me to look back at him" is an inserted comment. Right? Because of the ','..
'right in the face'...according to 'urban dictionary', there are 3 possible meanings.
1. A thought or expression used when you have an expectation that is crushed beyond misery.
2. Extreme disappointment.
3. Complete shock or surprise.

I have no idea which is the meaning here...

And 'kind of daring me to look back at him'.... means: he dare me to look back at him? He look back at him? It is not clear.
Which I did: I did look back at him...right?
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would have expected “he looked me right/straight in the face”, without “at”. That’s the normal way of saying it, in BE anyway (look someone in the eye (or face) | Lexico Dictionaries). But there’s no ambiguity or lack of clarity in the sentence.

    kind of daring me to look back at him
    = as though challenging me to do the same and look him straight in the face

    which I did = and I did do that
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, "at" is a bit out of place there but not completely wrong (I don't think).
    As I understand, "kind of daring me to look back at him" is an inserted comment. Right? Because of the ','..
    Sort of but not exactly, because if you take it out the sentence doesn't make sense any more. But it is an explanation of the preceding words.

    It's a spoken "sentence" that's not exactly one sentence. It's sort of like one and a half. It makes more sense spoken than written.
     

    Vanloon

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Yes, "at" is a bit out of place there but not completely wrong (I don't think).

    Sort of but not exactly, because if you take it out the sentence doesn't make sense any more. But it is an explanation of the preceding words.

    It's a spoken "sentence" that's not exactly one sentence. It's sort of like one and a half. It makes more sense spoken than written.
    Thanks a lot!!
     

    Vanloon

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    I would have expected “he looked me right/straight in the face”, without “at”. That’s the normal way of saying it, in BE anyway (look someone in the eye (or face) | Lexico Dictionaries). But there’s no ambiguity or lack of clarity in the sentence.

    kind of daring me to look back at him
    = as though challenging me to do the same and look him straight in the face

    which I did = and I did do that
    Thank you very much
     
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