I came across the below line from The Righteous Life: The Very Best of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam book I'm currently reading. While I could comprehend the meaning in this context, wondering the usage of "... smiled in silent congratulation for the award" in the sentence. I was wondering if some connecting word is missing here in printing, or if this could have been written more clearly as "... smiled in silent congratulating me for the award".

The mess bearer brought me my breakfast of idlis and buttermilk and smiled in silent congratulation for the award.

1 Answer 1


It's fine, especially in formal writing, to use 'in' after a verb of bodily action and before a noun of attitude, behaviour, emotion, etc (and 'congratulation' is such a noun).

She frowned in frustration.
I shivered in fear.
John blinked in surprise.

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