Maria wiped (at) her purple cheek powder. It didn't come out.
What's the difference between the two?
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Both ways give the same information and have the same meaning, as in this example:
In the example 1 "at" is pointing to the "tear", the only preposition used to give a location in the phrase.
Now in this example it would sound strange to use "wiped at", as the preposition "from" is already being used to point a location, the eye.
So I'd just be careful about the second example, check if a preposition pointing a place is already being used in the clause, in this case don't use wiped at.
If you want more examples you can find them here: Concordander