I found this sentence in an article:

Stress is the physical and mental tension you feel when you are faced with change.

Some people changed it into a TOEIC question with two possible answers regarding Reduced Relative Clauses. The two choices are when faced with and when facing with.

I checked the meaning and usage of face and found one example with be faced with in Cambridge Dictionary:

You're faced with a very difficult choice there.

This sentence also refers to the phrase be faced with in which the verb face is used in the Passive Voice and only in this voice, it goes with with. In other examples, I don't see any sentence with face with.

Therefore, some friends of mine have claimed that only in be faced with, the verb face will go with with and that when facing with is clearly a wrong answer. However, the phrase when facing with has appeared in a lot of books such as The Gift - An Islamic Tale of IslamKotob: He had always been good at covering up his real feeling when facing with unexpected news. Is this a right way to use face with?

I think both phrases can be used but when it comes to a difficult question, when facing with and when faced with seem right to me. In the first case, I have to face with a problem, while in the latter one, I am faced with it. What is the difference between the two phrases or is one of them wrong?


The two phrases you are looking for is

when faced with
Stress is the physical and mental tension you feel when you are faced with change.

when facing
Stress is the physical and mental tension you feel when facing change.

"When facing with" does not make sense since one "faces" something directly not "with" it

when facing a wall
when facing a challenge

Please keep in mind that you are citing a translation in The Gift - An Islamic Tale which may have it's own idiosyncrasies.

  • According to what you have said, with is only availabe in be faced with? Jul 4 '16 at 1:51
  • 1
    For your meaning of facing, I would say yes, "with" only works with "faced". If you used "facing" as a noun "When facing with plaster, humidity is a consideration" is a different meaning of "facing".
    – Peter
    Jul 4 '16 at 2:40
  • Can you explain to me that meaning of facing with? Give me some examples, please. @Peter Jul 4 '16 at 19:29
  • 1
    When you are "facing", you are covering something (placing a "face" on) with a material e.g. "facing a wall with plaster" is to cover a wall with a layer of plaster, sometimes also called a "skim coat". "Facing" also is used as a technical term in sewing and is a technique for finishing a edge.
    – Peter
    Jul 4 '16 at 23:50

Facing with is not correct. You are either "faced with x" or "facing x" (without with with).

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