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  1. A dusty wind whips in the sweaty faces of the humans.
  2. A dusty wind whips in the sweaty faces of humans.

The first sentence uses two thes. Is the article the required in front of humans? Which is correct, 1. or 2.?

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    "wind whips in the faces" is non-standard (misuse of preposition). Native speakers will see it as incorrect or clumsy. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Jul 18 '13 at 20:22
  • @jwpat7 So you mean it should be "on" instead of "in"? A dusty wind whips on the sweaty faces of the humans. – T2E Aug 3 '13 at 23:40
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    No, on would be even worse. Leave out the preposition entirely. Eg, "The wind whips their faces". – James Waldby - jwpat7 Aug 4 '13 at 0:50
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    Yes, it's correct, although a bit busy. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Aug 4 '13 at 15:22
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    Can't really agree with any of this. "Wind whipping in (anyone's) face" is a standard and common idiom in English. "Whipping (anyone's) face" is quite another thing entirely. You can say it, but it's not common, and it would imply that the wind is extremely severe and lashing, almost cutting in its intensity. – John M. Landsberg Aug 6 '13 at 20:55
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Without the article, the sentence would mean that a dusty wind always whips in the faces of humans; in other words, it would state that part of the condition of being human is that a dusty wind always whips in one's face. (We know that this is not the case, of course.)

With the article, the sentence means that at this particular time and pertaining to this particular group of humans, a dusty wind is whipping in their faces.

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  • it should be "on" instead of "in"? A dusty wind whips on the sweaty faces of the humans. – T2E Aug 3 '13 at 23:41
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    Quite simply, no. "On" is just not how it's said. "In" is the way we say it. – John M. Landsberg Aug 6 '13 at 20:56
  • Maybe it's the other way around: "part of the condition of being a dusty wind is that it whips human's sweaty faces"? – CowperKettle Dec 12 '15 at 12:10

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