A native English man whose father had Alzheizmer's years ago tells about his school years when he had to leave his mom - for university - with his mentally ill father. He tells about how he felt those years leaving mom behind, and he says:

I didn't feel right leaving mom.

That sounded unusual to me, because it is the leaving that he didn't find right. In other words, it is the leaving that did not give the feeling of rightness. In English some things may not feel right, so we say "it doesn't feel right" but as humans when we say I don't feel right, it means as if you did wrong in a test or an exam. So, instead I would say

It did not feel right leaving mom.

So, do you think it is wrong to say "I didn't feel right leaving mom." or are both sentences correct?

  • 1
    "it is the situation that did not feel right, not him" - what do you base that on? I can imagine he didn't feel right in that situation either. Apr 2, 2021 at 8:52
  • 2
    Both sentences are possible, depending on the nuance the man was trying to express. Apr 2, 2021 at 9:55
  • 1
    If you mean he was English as opposed to English-speaking then he would have used mum not mom which is the US term.
    – mdewey
    Apr 2, 2021 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


It is not wrong for him to have said, "I didn't feel right leaving mom." Why? He is involved; in fact, he is the one doing the leaving! It's only natural to expect that he would have feelings about leaving his mom alone with a mentally-ill father.

Now, did the situation not feel right to him? I'm sure it did. He could have said, "It didn't feel right leaving mom." That means that the situation didn't feel right to him.

Either sentence is correct; he chose to say the first one, which is slightly more personal.

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