in (the) face of?


Senior Member
Svediż tal-Finlandja
Hey hey,

regarding "in (the) face of", do you always have to use the definite article? An example would be "In ( ) face of danger, it can at times be difficult to stay calm". There are over one million hits on Google (although of course, not all need be good English). But perhaps the version without the "the" are more journalist style, as it is shorter?

  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I don't think the two expressions are absolutely identical.

    I hear "in the face of" with a tone of defiance.
    He laughed in the face of danger. Danger is personified.

    I hear "in face of" more neutrally = facing.
    He demonstrated extreme bravery in face of danger.

    I suspect that is a personal impression.


    Senior Member
    Svediż tal-Finlandja
    panjandrum, that was something I would have thought to have perceived in the use of this expression, but I wasn't sure. And when I looked it up on Google, at least the first lots of hits were newspaper sites.

    But yes, maybe it is a BE/AE distinction... such ways of making things complicated :rolleyes:

    Thanks again, guys!
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