whether it be


Senior Member
Korea, Korean
The very nature of addiction whether it be self-medicating or self-mutilating is that the very behavior we use to survive it becomes a behavior that ends up killing us.

I don't understand why "whether it be" is used here.
I think that should be "whether it is".
Explain this to me please.
  • laurita5

    Senior Member
    USA- English
    "Whether it be" is a set phrase in English. Sort of like "If I were..." It is a rather academic and impersonal expression and tends to be used in contexts such as the above. If you use "whether it is" in a similar context as the sentence above your reader is likely to think "does he mean "whether it be""

    Hope that helps.