be it the Renaissance

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
“Societies have found various methods to support and train their artists, be it the Renaissance system of royal support of the sculptors and painters of the period or the Japanese tradition of passing artistic knowledge from father to son.”
Could you please explain “be it”
What subject of “be” is it? Is it an infinite? And what about "it"? What does it stand for?
Thank you very much.
 
  • sunkitty

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi Mimi,

    "be it" here kind of means "whether it is".

    It's "be", not "is" because it's the subjunctive.

    I will find a way to get there, be it by car, plane, or ship.

    It's very correct, but pretty formal wording. You see it written in articles and books, but don't hear it too much in everyday speech. Most people in normal speech would say:

    I will find a way to get there, whether it's by car, plane, or ship.
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    Hi, sunkitty.
    Thank you for your clear explanation.
    I am glad to know about this kind of subjunctive.
     
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