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Be that as it may

Discussion in 'English Only' started by danielxu85, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. danielxu85 Senior Member

    Qingdao
    Mandarin Chinese
    I think it is a subjunctive mood, but I am not sure what it means. Why does the author use this mood? What does the author tend to infer?

    Being unable to live with both parents alongside is a regrettable part of growing up for many children. But be that as it may, as society gives the problem more attention, and as people are more able to openly discuss the sources of their pain, we must work to ensure that it does not lead to lifetimes of regret.
     
  2. konungursvia Senior Member

    Toronto
    Canada (English)
    This is an archaic vestige of a now generally defunct subjunctive mood. It means "let that be whatever it will be", in other words, it means "still" or "yet."
     
  3. danielxu85 Senior Member

    Qingdao
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks, konungursvia! Do you mean that this phrase will not be used in daily conversation? What is a natural way of expressing the same idea in this context? I think "yet" or "still" could not be used together with "but".
     
  4. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    It is still spoken in the U.S., although it has a formal tone to it.

    Two possible substitutes might be "even so" and "nevertheless". I think the "but" is extraneous in this context.
     
  5. danielxu85 Senior Member

    Qingdao
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks, James! Am I right that even with "be that as it may", "but" is extraneous?
     
  6. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    It certainly seems extraneous to me. :) It's also a little cheesy to start a sentence with "but" this way (even though I confess that I do it from time to time.)
     
  7. Orange Blossom Senior Member

    U.S.A. English
    "But" is indeed not wanted before the phrase "be that as it may". Both "but" and "be that as it may" signal an upcoming contrast; consequently, you don't want to use both.

    A note about punctuation:
    Delete the comma here. The comma is used before the and when separating two or more independent clauses or when separating a list of words, phrases, or clauses containing three or more elements. The and here does not fit either description in this case.

    Orange Blossom
     
  8. AWordLover

    AWordLover Senior Member

    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    USA English
    OrangeBlossom has done a wonderful job of explaining the title phrase in the context of your quote.

    I'll move off topic to work on a problem with your question.

    I guess that instead of "What does the author tend to infer?" you wanted "What does the author intend to imply?".
     
  9. danielxu85 Senior Member

    Qingdao
    Mandarin Chinese
    Thanks, Awordlover and Orange Blossom! I will learn what you say by heart.
     

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