I'm quite confused by the usage of prep., so may I ask when I should use "in" or "with", since I read some sentences below

  1. The birds smashed into the top of their cages in fright.
  2. The steam pipes rattled suddenly, and Franklin jumped with fright. He was shaking with fright.

" In fright", " with fright", what's the difference between them, can they be replaced by each other? Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Both are basically the same. You could argue that in some cases one may seem more natural but that depends on style and tone.

Based purely on instinct (and I can't find a good source):

  • "with fright" means that being frightened is the cause of an action
  • "in fright" describes an activity done in a state of being frightened

For example:

  • "He ran away with fright": he was so frightened that he ran away
  • "He ran away in fright": he ran away and he was frightened when doing it

But as noted, this is missing a citation to an authoritative source.

  • I did upvote, but your answer would be even better if you provided some reference.
    – fev
    Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 10:23
  • 'Petrified with fear/fright': still causative, but here causing a stste. You could trawl through the first n Google hits for "in fright" and "with fright" and after discarding irrelevant ("there is a silent g in fright" etc) and non-overt examples, give proportions corresponding to the causative and purely depictive cases respectively. Commented Sep 11, 2021 at 10:30
  • Thanks for all your explainations
    – gowithwind
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 6:00

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