A lot of people are interested in what the popular idiom «turn a blind eye to» means. Here is a short explanation supported by examples.
If we say that somebody turns a blind eye to something, it means that he or she deliberately does not notice it, pretends not to see it or simply ignores it. It often happens when a person does not feel like dealing with a particular complicated problem or thinks that his or her inaction will profit him or her personally. Such situations are negative in their nature and usually involve violation of the law, either official or moral. But at the same time, the idiom can describe positive situations as well: in that case people may turn a blind eye to somebody's minor faults or unpleasant character traits in order to keep the relationship going.
Below are a few examples illustrating the usage of the phraseological unit «turn a blind eye to».
In a family, husband and wife differ a lot in their views on football: husband is a big football fan and never misses a match even if it interferes with his family's plans. Unlike him, wife is indifferent to football and is not interested in it at all. When her husband is absorbed in watching a match, she is usually in the kitchen cooking something delicious for dinner. She does not say her husband's interests are stupid. Neither does she start any quarrels over football. She prefers to turn a blind eye to her husband's infinite love for football and respects his right to be keen on something that she personally finds boring and uninteresting. As a result, there are no conflicts, and their relationship is alive and prosperous.
A negative example can be illustrated by the following situation. A local clinic is in a very bad condition, its technical equipment has grown extremely old and is no more effective. Patients cannot get the help they need. But the local authorities understand that repairing the clinic and providing it with all the necessary equipment will cost a lot of money. So, they choose to stay inactive and do nothing, thus turning a blind eye to this important problem. As a result, patients suffer and some of them may even die without receiving high-quality professional treatment.
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