betray and its connotation

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firstcalled

Senior Member
Russian
Hello! I'll very appreciate it if you tell me if I can say:
The eyes of happy people betray them,
meaning that you can understand that some person is happy by looking at his/her eyes, and if I can say so, is there any negative connotation of the word "betray" here or does it just mean, in our case, showing it(their happinesses) without intending to?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    There is a negative connotation of 'betray', so in your context you'd be inclined to use it if the happiness was being deliberately concealed. That's quite OK. But if you wanted to avoid that idea, you might say:

    Happiness is revealed in people's eyes.
     

    firstcalled

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thank you for your answer! I see your point, but what about this:
    If you betray a feeling or quality, you show it without intending to.

    She studied his face, but it betrayed nothing...
    He nodded his head instead of saying anything where his voice might betray him.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    If you betray a feeling or quality, you show it without intending to.
    She studied his face, but it betrayed nothing...
    He nodded his head instead of saying anything where his voice might betray him.
    Those are typical and idiomatic examples of this sense of 'betray'.
     
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