I am particularly interested in the following example:

This theory has its most dedicated supporter in the face of Michael.

This theory has its most dedicated supporter at the face of Michael.

Can I even use this expression in the first place? We have it in my native language and I think I have seen it in English, too but I am not sure.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jan 16 '18 at 20:16

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  • Welcome to ELL, Bojidar. I think that you need to explain what this expression means in your own language before we can answer the question properly. As they stand, neither of your attempts at translation make sense. – JavaLatte Jan 17 '18 at 0:45

This theory has its most dedicated supporter in the face of Michael.


This theory has its most dedicated supporter in Michael.

This means: Michael is its most dedicated supporter.

face of simply does not work here.

  • Is in Michael here == in the person of Michael? – dan Jan 17 '18 at 2:40
  • We don't say in the person of Michael here. We find our most ardent believer in [name of person]. In any event, it is not his person, it's him. – Lambie Jan 17 '18 at 15:01

Nearest idiomatic English would be " in the person of Michael" in your example. But you might also be thinking of the expression 'on the face of it' which means at first sight, or superficially, pending a deeper understanding.

  • 1
    The OP could also be thinking of "in the face of" as in "in the face of difficulties" or "in the face of Michael's opposition". Obviously this isn't what's meant in this case but the existence of the phrase could be confusing him as it's a literal translation of the one in his native language, even though the meaning is different. – BoldBen Jan 16 '18 at 20:11

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