(one) could be forgiven for (doing something)

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(one) could be forgiven for (doing something)

It is completely understandable why one would do, think, or believe something, even if it is incorrect. Anyone visiting this ultra-conservative country could be forgiven for thinking that they've somehow gone backwards in time. You could be forgiven for wondering how a multinational company has failed to pay its taxes in over five years.
See also: could, forgive

he, she, etc. could/might be forgiven for doing something

used to say that it is easy to understand why somebody does or thinks something, although they are wrong: Looking at the crowds out shopping, you could be forgiven for thinking that everyone has plenty of money to spend.
References in periodicals archive ?
LIVERPUDLIAN Angela Scales could be forgiven for being more nervous than most as HMS Ark Royal sets sail.