You would be forgiven for thinking

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Senior Member
You would be forgiven for thinking she might feel a flicker of embarrassment at putting her vanity before her child's education, but you would be wrong. And, incredibly, it would seem that telling her daughter in advance simply slipped her mind.
source: the Daily Mail

I don't understand why the journalist used ' be forgive for thinking', but not " You would think".

If I suppose something or someone is bad but with reasons, I can use 'be forgiven for thinking'. Right?

  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    To be "forgiven for thinking [something]" is more or less a set phrase. It means that thinking a thing like that is natural or an obvious thing to think (even if wrong), and for this reason you would be forgiven for it. In other words, it is an understandable reaction, which one should not be blamed for, whether it is wrong or not.

    It serves to criticise the action of the person being discussed (in this case the woman who has put her vanity before the interests of the child) more intensely than "you would have thought" does. It is a rather contemptuous phrase in respect to the woman being discussed.

    Imber Ranae

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    It doesn't really have anything to do with someone or something being bad. "You would be forgiven for thinking" is simply an expression that suggests it would be understandable, in the writer's opinion, if you thought such and such. "Forgive" is being used here in a mild sense.
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