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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Conditionals Starting with be    

Conditionals Starting with be


Conditionals Starting with be
So, tomorrow morning I �m having a class with my advanced SS and I am going to touch upon some advanced conditionals; I �ve been wondering about structures starting with "be"...
I mean sentences like this:
"I like all sorts of ice-cream, be it vanilla, chocolate or fruit-flavored" (I made up the sentence myself, so correct me if something is wrong with it).
There are hardly any textbooks / online resources that deal with this structure properly (at least I have managed to find none), so from my observation I have concluded that (1) the structure above can be equivalent to " I like all sorts of ice-cream, no matter if it is vanilla, chocolate or fruit-flavored (2) this sort of conditional is used in somewhat formal language.  I would love the grammar geeks to confirm this or say that I am wrong. Thanks a lot :)

31 Jan 2015      

United Kingdom

People do say it. One thing though, should it be "I like all sorts of ice-cream, be they vanilla, choc ...?" To tell you the truth they both sound fine to me but I have a sneaky feeling the only plural can apply to "sorts." Mind you, I �m no grammar geek and "ice-cream" is uncountable. It is said in conversation though. It�s an interesting point you have raised.

31 Jan 2015     


spinney, thanks a lot, so I should exclude the second finding :)))) Another thing that struck me now _ "I like all ice cream, be it vanilla or chocolate" is the same as "...SHOULD IT BE vanilla or chocholate" and the omission of "should" leads to the inverted word order "...be it vanilla or chocolate", just like in the following pattern, where the omission of "if" leads to the inverted order with "had" : " if I had known her address I would have visited her" = "Had I known her address, I would have visited her" .ageekysmiley. :)))

31 Jan 2015     

United States

"I like all sorts of icecream whether it is chocolate, vanilla, or another flavor." is equivalent to
 "I like all sorts of ice-cream, be it vanilla, chocolate or fruit-flavored"

31 Jan 2015     

United Kingdom

I would not use the word �sorts � but use either different, or kinds of flavoured ice cream......

1 Feb 2015