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A friend recently wrote (in response to a compliment):

嬉しい!嬉しくてにやけてしまいました。

I understand the meaning entirely, but it's the first time I've come across て form followed immediately by に。A quick search of sample sentences on Jisho.org, as well as a peek through my grammar book, revealed nothing. Is this a common (or even grammatically correct) usage?

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You're not parsing it correctly, I'm afraid. It's 「嬉しくて、にやけてしまいました。」(にやける = to grin, smirk)

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  • Ah, yes. Thank you. I was thinking she had used やける as some kind of slang for blushing, which also seemed strange. Turns out I was wrong on both accounts, haha. 勉強になりました!
    – TFlo83
    Commented Jun 15, 2017 at 23:12

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