Be it(...)

wholegrain

Senior Member
French
Are the following sentences equivalent?

Be it his mother, I would run away.

If it is his mother, I would run away.
 
  • 2PieRad

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The first sentence sounds really awkward, relatively speaking. But I'd say it means more Even if it is his mother...

    I don't see this structure too often, but I'd imagine it would go something like this:
    Be it rain or shine, storm or snow, I will deliver these newspapers.
    It would mean Even if it's raining...
     

    Salvage

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Are the following sentences equivalent?

    Be it his mother, I would run away.

    If it is his mother, I would run away.

    The situation is about a hypothetical (his mother is present of not) and the consequence (I would run away). "Be it" is a subjunctive form which is seldom used in AE. The subjunctive is usually indicated with "would", so the "Be it" is not necessary. In the first sentence, there is some ambiguity about what is hypothesized. I was confused.

    So, I am going to say they are not equivalent.
     

    Illuminatus

    Senior Member
    USA
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
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