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face [transitive, intransitive] to be opposite somebody/something; to have your face or front pointing towards somebody/something or in a particular direction

face somebody/something She turned and faced him.

Most of the rooms face the sea.

They face each other across the aisle.

face + adv./prep. The terrace faces south.

a north-facing wall

a south-east-facing garden

to face outwards/inwards/upwards/downwards

Lie with your palms facing upwards.

Which direction are you facing?

Look at the picture

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You're sitting on a chair in a room and there is a door in the room (the door can be in any position).

Now you want to turn the chair to face the outside so that you can enjoy looking through the door to the outside.

is it idiomatic to say "turn the chair to face the outside" in this situation?

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    Yes, that's fine. You could also say it in other ways, such as place the chair facing the door. – Kate Bunting Mar 29 '20 at 8:09
  • @KateBunting, but I don't see the structure "place something doing something" in the dictionary. We have "place something + adv" in the dictionary. So, is "facing the door" an adverb in your sentence? – Tom Mar 29 '20 at 8:36
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    The dictionaries say it's an adjective. I suppose you could understand it as 'place it so as to be facing'. – Kate Bunting Mar 29 '20 at 9:28
  • @KateBunting, I got it – Tom Mar 29 '20 at 9:34
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    To clarify, "facing the door" is an adjective phrase created by using the present participle (-ing form) of the verb "to face". You can turn most verbs into adjectives in the same way ("doing something" is actually another example of the same thing in action). – Foogod Mar 30 '20 at 17:54
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Yes, that actually sounds fine.

I will point out, however, that using "outside" in this way would more commonly be used to indicate "outward direction" (i.e. facing away from the center of some area, such as if the chairs were set up in a circle). If there is actually a door or window or something in the direction you want the chair to face, it would be a bit more common to say something like "turn the chair to face the door" instead.

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  • I agree. I'd use "the outside" to refer to the exterior of some object that's already under discussion. I'd use "outdoors" to mean the open-air environment outside the house. In some cases, "face outside" with no article may more clearly mean the outdoors; but this may be regional. Rural residents may have different specific idioms that urban folk when it comes to indoors and outdoors. – CCTO Apr 24 '20 at 17:44

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