betray or element of betrayal

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PeachYoghurt

Senior Member
Mandarin
Hi all! My friend wrote:

Jason is loyal to his marriage, his parents, his friends, his career, etc. He is loyal and doesn't betray.

I'm afraid it should be "betray something/someone". How about "He doesn't have any element of betrayal" ?
 
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  • pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think you're right, that "betray" needs an object. I would have a hard time understanding "element of betrayal," though. I don't know why there would be any need to add anything to "He is loyal."

    (In any event, isn't the second sentence entirely redundant given the first?)
     

    PeachYoghurt

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    I think you're right, that "betray" needs an object. I would have a hard time understanding "element of betrayal," though. I don't know why there would be any need to add anything to "He is loyal."

    (In any event, isn't the second sentence entirely redundant given the first?)
    Thank you pob. If I leave out "He is loyal" part, how about "He doesn't have betrayal."?:)
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I agree the second sentence seems unnecesary. If you're particular about using "betray", you could consider "He has [never betrayed/would not betray] anyone's trust".

    how about "He doesn't have betrayal."?
    No, this isn't something that would be said.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    The phrase "betrayed his career" is not natural. A career can't be betrayed. Also, people aren't described as being loyal to their careers though a person can be loyal to his job.

    If he did his job sincerely/was loyal to his job, doesn't that mean he didn't betray the trust that his employer placed in him?
     

    PeachYoghurt

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The phrase "betrayed his career" is not natural. A career can't be betrayed. Also, people aren't described as being loyal to their careers though a person can be loyal to his job.

    If he did his job sincerely/was loyal to his job, doesn't that mean he didn't betray the trust that his employer placed in him?
    :) Good point. Thank you for your reply.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Hi all! My friend wrote:

    Jason is loyal to his marriage, his parents, his friends, his career, etc. He is loyal and doesn't betray.

    I'm afraid it should be "betray something/someone". How about "He doesn't have any element of betrayal" ?
    I think if you want to use the root "betray" then recasting the sentence works:

    He is no betrayer; he is loyal to his marriage, his parents his friends and his career.

    He is not Benedict Arnold; he is loyal to his marriage, his parents his friends and his career.
     

    Narkom

    Senior Member
    Russian
    His noble birth betrayed the way he talked and behaved.
    Does the verb betray work in this sentence?

    Thanks.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I agree.

    "Betray" here means "disclose" or "give away the fact of". It doesn't have the same meaning as in PeachYoghurt's earlier examples. So his behaviour could tell you that he was of noble birth, not the other way round.
     
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