Please look at the following

  1. He faces 5 years in prison, if convicted. This sentence means that if he is convicted he will be in jail for 5 years. Right?

But what if I say the following, which is after he has been convicted and sentenced to 5 years in prison.

  1. He has been now been convicted and faces 5 years in jail.

Can I say the above 'faces 5 years in prison' after he has been sentenced guilty? Can I use 'face' here in the sense of experiencing the jail?

  1. He faces jail. Can this mean he is experiencing jail now and is in jail now as we speak?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


Think of it as looking into the future, facing the future. He can see clearly what will happen: 5 years in jail. Typically "faces" implies an unpleasant future that we can see clearly.

Once he's actually serving the sentence in the jail we don't use face. We might say something like

He faces another 4 years and 51 weeks of life within these walls.

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