Be That As It May

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sus4, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. sus4

    sus4 Senior Member

    Japan - Japanese

    Could anyone give me some usage examples of "be that as it may"? I've got the meaning of it, but I'm not sure about when and how to use this phrase.

    Thank you.
  2. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    You have a point about the risks of illegal downloading. Be that as it may, I will continue doing so because I can't afford to buy music legally.

    In this example, rhe expression is used to concede a point or to acknowledge that something may have some truth to it, but to assert that that won't significantly alter your opinion.

    Due to several confusions and misunderstandings with the caterer, we have gotten a late start on dinner and have had to change the venue. Be that as it may, we are going to have a great time!

    In this example, it means "although that is true," "despite that," etc.
  3. sus4

    sus4 Senior Member

    Japan - Japanese

    Thank you for the examples. Is this a conversational expression?

  4. Hi Sus4,

    It is not commonly used in the UK in conversation. We would be more likely to say, 'even so' or 'nevertheless'.

  5. shamblesuk

    shamblesuk Senior Member

    England, English
    It's a rare use of the english subjunctive tense.
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It is perhaps more rhetorical than conversational.
    It's not rare enough to be remarkable, so you need to understand it;
    but it's not common enough to be an essential part of your vocabulary, so knowing when and how to use it isn't very important.
    If you never use it, no one will notice:)
  7. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    "Be that as it may" (let that be) is know as the formulaic subjunctive. Some other examples are "suffice it to say" (let it suffice to say), "come what may," "God save the Queen" (may God save the Queen).

    Microsoft Word says that "cc" stands for "courtesy copy." It's probably just a way of making something plural, just as "pp" stands for "pages." Be that as it may, you can use the notation "cc" or just "c" or spell it out as "Copies to."
  8. nycphotography

    nycphotography Senior Member

    I do be learnin stuff
    John-Paul Miller, NYC
    The HBO Boxing commentator who, after almost every fight gives his "philosophical summation" of the event... usually says:

    Be that as it may or may not be...


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