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Do We Meet or Face a Challenge?

Question: Dear Teacher Joe, I'm a college student majoring in Chinese. I have a strong interest in English. College English is my favorite magazine! I have a question - what is the difference between "meet a challenge" and "face the challenge"? - Zhou Cheng.

Answer: Hi Zhou Cheng, thank you for your question. It seems that "meet a challenge" and "face a challenge" are about the same. However, "face" as a verb emphasizes the fact that we are not running away, we are not turning our backs on the challenge. We have the courage and we will do our best whatever the result.

On the other hand, we often use the verb "meet" to mean "succeed", so depending on the context, "meet a challenge" could mean success. For example, we sometimes say writers must "meet a deadline". If they do "meet" the deadline, then they have succeeded in finishing their writing on time. To "meet someone's expectations" means that we are as good as the other person hoped! To "meet a set of standards" means that we have truly achieved those high standards.

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