betrayal - pronunciation

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Senior Member
Català & español (Spain)
Is it usual to pronounce "betrayal" with two syllables ([bɪˈtreɪl]) instead of three ([bɪˈtreɪ.əl])? I'm asking because I've heard it pronounced like this in a song, which prevented me from recognizing the word. I wonder if its a colloquial pronunciation. If it's not, I'll assume it was pronounced that way in that particular song just for the sake of metrics.
  • George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I would normally only the 2 syllables version: but a 3 syllable version is also out there:- live and kicking...



    New Member
    I found this on Cambridge Dictionary :
    betrayal /bɪˈtreɪ.əl/
    noun [C or U]
    I felt a sense of betrayal when my friends refused to support me.
    This was the first in a series of betrayals.
    but i think "/ bɪˈtreɪəl / " is more common because i see it in many dictionaries .


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I would normally use the 3-syllable version, but strange things happen in songs, so that the words fit the tune. We sang a song today where we had to sing 'trial' as one syllable, and in other places we sing it as two syllables. What happens in the song does not quite tell you how the singer says 'betrayal' normally.

    The Prof

    Senior Member
    My immediate reaction was that I always pronounce this word with three syllables.

    More careful consideration makes me realize that while that is true when I say the word in isolation, I give it more like two and a half syllables in a sentence - and the 'half' is probably in my imagination!
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