a scar / stitches/ wrinkles on/in your face

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aldegunde

Senior Member
Spanish
Hi everybody!

When talking about freckles or a beauty spot we use on my face, but since the use of in and on is so tricky sometimes for non-native speakers, I always hesitate about which preposition I should use when talking about things that are not over your skin but in it like a scar, stiches or wrinkles.
Thanks in advance for you answers.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Scar" and "stitches" would go with "on," although "stitches in" might sometimes be used for the nose or ear, for example (rather than the skin). I think either preposition would be okay with facial wrinkles, although "on" seems better.
     

    fenixpollo

    moderator
    American English
    I would always use on with "face" or "skin", unless the object was embedded within the body, as in The Newt's example.

    I agree that many people use in with phrases such as lines in the skin or wrinkles in your face, but it's not my preference. I think those usages refer to something physically "drawn into" as in "marked into" or "scratched into", which focuses on how the lines/wrinkles were created.
     

    Dosamuno

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I'd use "in" with stitches; "on" with scars; "on" with wrinkles.
    Prepositions, along with the Tower of Babel, were created by the gods to keep people like us from learning other people's languages.
     
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