What does the above sentence mean ?

Context: Me - I got up late today. Friend - It is a forgivable lapse in your circumstances.

Is the above sentence correct? I feel it is not but I'm not able to pinpoint the exact error.

  • 2
    Friend - Given your circumstances, I'd say that is a forgivable lapse. A comma would help parsing. Commented Apr 28, 2018 at 18:47
  • can you write that as an answer so I can mark it as correct
    – Sonu VR
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 6:43
  • 1
    Sorry, Sonu – I think it more appropriate for ELL, and I never give an 'answer' to questions I consider off-topic (even though I often still provide what I consider to be help). Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 8:20

2 Answers 2


Forgivable momentary lapses of common sense

Your sentence it written in different ways, such as here:

He could have forgiven the lapses in view of the circumstances. google books

  • "It is a forgivable lapse, given your circumstances." or "It is a forgivable lapse, in your circumstance."

may be better grammar. But the sentence as written is OK.

Context: your friend is cutting you some slack ... sleeping in. He knows you are experiencing some tough times.


It is a forgivable lapse in your circumstances.

In grammatical terms this is ambiguous. It could mean that your circumstances have lapsed. That doesn't make much sense.

What it is clearly supposed to mean is, "In your circumstances, it is a forgivable lapse"

"it" of course refers to getting up late, i.e.

"In your circumstances, getting up late is a forgivable lapse"

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