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Difference between Face to face and Head to head

face to face

1. addressing smb. directly:

  • There are some students who are shy and will only talk to you online, but others would rather talk face to face.

2. in direct encounter with a person:

  • She toadied to her superiors when she really came face to face with them.

head to head

1. in direct confrontation or conflict:

  • On the same day the two candidates go head to head in their only joint televised debate.

2. competing so closely that the lead is virtually indistinguishable:

  • He made an announcement saying that the two candidates were head to head so it wasn’t time to celebrate yet.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with its formal French counterpart tête-à-tête—a talk in private with only two people present:

  • He had tête-à-tête with Maung Aye, the powerful Burmese army chief, when he visited Thailand.