I think I am hard to understand

Would you say what you felt was a feeling of betrayal?

What's the meaning? Is it correct in grammar?


It's correct.

First, there is an understood "that" in the sentence which might help it be more clear:

Would you say [that] what you felt was a feeling of betrayal?

This is a good example of a couple of things in English:

  • Entire sub-clauses can take the place of a single word in English, and assume its function in a main clause. Would you say X - X can be a single-word noun, a noun phrase with adjectives and prepositional phrases, or an entire clause with its own subject/verb that functions as a noun.

  • Many words can be used to indicate the beginning of a clause in the middle of a sentence - that is one of them, but in many cases the that can be omitted.

  • Words like what, where, etc. can be used as indefinite pronouns. A pronoun takes the place of a noun - however, an indefinite pronoun takes the place of a noun that is not yet known to the speaker/writer. We don't know exactly "what"

As far as the overall meaning - asking someone would you say X is a way to see if someone agrees that your words express something they are having trouble expressing, or to confirm that you understand what someone is experiencing or reporting.

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It's not incorrect, but you could shorten it and retain the same meaning:

Would you say you felt a feeling of betrayal?

Or, shorter still:

Did you feel a feeling of betrayal?

Or, even shorter:

Did you feel betrayed?

You've essentially said the same thing, but in a much more wordy way.

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