French to English pardonner

Dictionary entry: pardonner
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English - England/Australia
The translation of this structure (marked in bold) and its corresponding example sentence are not accurate. You can't forgive something someone. A better translation of the sentence might be "forgives him FOR his eccentricities" or maybe simply "forgives his eccentricities"
pardonner [qch] à [qqn] vtr + prép(tolérer)forgive [sb] [sth] vtr
put up with [sb]'s [sth] v expr
Le directeur lui pardonne ses excentricités car il est très compétent.
The manager forgives him his eccentricities because he is very competent.
  • DrD

    Senior Member
    Dictionary Editor
    England English

    Thank you for your message. However, you can forgive someone something, and it is used exactly as shown in the sentence. When you say you forgive someone his eccentricities, it means you are willing to overlook them (because you like his other qualities, for example).

    In this context, I would find forgive sb for sth rather odd - as though he'd actually done something wrong, rather than just having some slightly odd habits. However, you can use forgive sb sth in the usual sense of forgiving someone for some wrongdoing (I forgave him his baseless accusation), but there I would grant you that it is somewhat dated and formal.

    You don't have to take my word for it. Collins (sense 1 in the Learner section) and Lexico (sense 1) both show example sentences using forgive sb sth.
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