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Quick answer
"Enfrentar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to confront", and "hacer frente a" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to face up to". Learn more about the difference between "enfrentar" and "hacer frente a" below.
enfrentar(
ehm
-
frehn
-
tahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to deal with)
a. to confront
Las autoridades enfrentaron al sospechoso tan pronto como lo encontraron.The authorities confronted the suspect as soon as they found him.
Tienes que enfrentar tus miedos si quieres avanzar en la vida.You have to confront your fears if you want to advance in life.
b. to face
Debes enfrentar a tus exámenes con mucho estudio y preparación.You should face your exams with lots of studying and preparation.
2. (to be positioned towards)
a. to face
Nuestra casa enfrenta a la plaza del pueblo.Our house faces the town square.
b. to put face to face
Enfrentamos las piezas de ajedréz antes de jugar.We put the chess pieces face to face before playing.
3. (to make enemies)
a. to set against
La guerra civil enfrentó a muchos hermanos.The civil war set many brothers against one another.
enfrentarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
4. (to brave)
a. to face
Debes enfrentarte a tus miedos y abordar ese avión.You should face your fears and board that plane.
5. (to quarrel)
a. to fight
Los carneros son conocidos por enfrentarse para establecer su territorio.Rams are known for fighting to establish their territory.
A reciprocal verb is a verb that indicates that two or more subjects perform an action on each other (e.g. Ellos se abrazan.).
6. (sports)
a. to meet
Esta noche Barcelona se enfrentará al Real Madrid en la Copa del Rey.Barcelona will meet Real Madrid tonight in the Copa del Rey.
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hacer frente a(
ah
-
sehr
 
frehn
-
teh
 
ah
)
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (to come up against)
a. to face up to
Sé que es duro, pero tarde o temprano tienes que hacer frente a la nueva situación.I know it's tough, but sooner or later you have to face up to the new situation.
b. to face
Tendrás que hacer frente a muchas dificultades para conseguir tu sueño.You will be facing many difficulties before you make your dream come true.
c. to confront
Un buen soldado es siempre valiente y está dispuesto a hacer frente a cualquier peligro.A good soldier is always brave and ready to confront any danger.
d. to tackle
Es admirable la fuerza con que esta madre soltera hace frente a los problemas cotidianos.It's admirable that this single mother tackles everyday problems with such strength.
e. to deal with
Mi libro se titula "Diez maneras de hacer frente al estrés".My book is titled "Ten Ways to Deal With Stress."
f. to cope with
El pobre Marcos es aún muy pequeño para hacer frente a la separación de sus padres.Poor Marcos is still too young to cope with the separation of his parents.
g. to meet (payments, demands, obligations)
La empresa no pudo hacer frente al pago de las nóminas y tuvo que cerrar.The company wasn't able to meet its payroll and had to close down.
2. (to oppose or challenge)
a. to stand up to
Era un jefe muy autoritario. Nadie se atrevía a hacerle frente.He was an authoritarian boss. No one dared stand up to him.
b. to confront
Nuestro ejército hizo frente a las fuerzas enemigas en la ribera del río.Our army confronted the enemy forces by the riverside.
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