What is the difference between 面 and 边 when they are used as suffixes, e.g. 前面 and 前边? Is one preferred over the other? Please provide examples of their different usages in both written and spoken Chinese.
If solo 边 means the side of something. Solo 面 means surface of something.
前面 and 前边 has no difference because it comes from different accent like beijing or sichuan accent.
前面 is more hand-writting and 前边 could be used more in some cities like sichuan for accent use . All in all , both are ok in spoken language and writing . Just like 'Hello' and 'Hi' , and a little bit similar to 'old' and 'auld'
Any more questions?