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Whether be it Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 1:02:26 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 991
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'There is something fundamentally wrong with the GST -- whether be it the rates, compliance, or the GST Network itself.'
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

Please explain to me the use of "be" in the context? when do we use inversion? can we not just simply use whether it is....?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 1:25:08 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,115
Neurons: 149,215
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Hi Jigneshbharati!
I don't think that sentence is correct - or it is such an unusual phrasing that I have never heard similar.

There are (of course) several ways one could phrase that choice of possibilities.

A 'normal' way would be:
'There is something fundamentally wrong with the GST -- whether it is the rates, compliance, or the GST Network itself.'
This uses "whether" to show that there are possible choices.

Another (not so good in my opinion) way is:
'There is something fundamentally wrong with the GST. It may be the rates, compliance, or the GST Network itself.'
This uses the modal verb 'may' to show several possibilities.

A very formal way would be:
'There is something fundamentally wrong with the GST -- be it the rates, compliance, or the GST Network itself.'
This uses the inversion and use of the subjunctive to show multiple possibilities.
This is correct, and I like this type of formation, but it does sound formal.

To mix the two and use both 'whether' and the inversion to show choices seems wrong - the 'whether' is actually redundant.

subjunctive - a mood that represents an act or state (not as a fact but) as contingent or possible
Wordnet 3.0 - TFD


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Antonio Gallo
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 3:31:11 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 11/8/2017
Posts: 3
Neurons: 1,092
Location: Sarno, Campania, Italy
Jigneshbharati wrote:
'There is something fundamentally wrong with the GST -- whether be it the rates, compliance, or the GST Network itself.'
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

Please explain to me the use of "be" in the context? when do we use inversion? can we not just simply use whether it is....?


"Be", in this use, is a subjunctive verb form. It usually expresses a hypothetical rather than actual situation
NKM
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 3:52:39 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 4,119
Neurons: 186,396
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
Yes, it is subjunctive — but the inversion doesn't really work with "whether".

The correct form would be "whether it be …" or simply "be it …".

But in what seems to be the context of the sentence, I see no reason for using the subjunctive. I think the indicative ("whether it is …") would be more appropriate.

Jigneshbharati
Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 4:07:46 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 991
Neurons: 5,343
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