The phrase be that as it may is often utilized to acknowledge an inconvenient or unsettling truth while suggesting that the discussion or action should proceed regardless. It's a conversational pivot, a way to say, "I hear you, but let's move on."
"Be that as it may" is a phrase used to agree to a fact yet indicate that the fact should not stop or divert the ongoing action or conversation.
The idiom "be that as it may" serves as a transitional phrase, facilitating a shift in conversation. It acknowledges the veracity of a previous statement while making it clear that the current discussion will continue irrespective of that fact.
In essence, "be that as it may" serves as a linguistic bridge, guiding the conversation past a potentially distracting or irrelevant point.
The idiom "be that as it may" has a long-standing history in the English language. It is commonly believed to have originated in the 16th century, appearing in early English literature.
"Be it as it will, it cannot be amended."
The above sentence, a precursor to the modern idiom, can be found in John Heywood's "A Dialogue Conteynyng the Nomber in Effect of All the Prouerbes in the Englishe Tongue," published in 1546. Although not the exact phrase, it embodies the same meaning and serves as a historical marker for the idiom's early usage.
Over the centuries, the phrase underwent various transformations before settling into its contemporary form. "Be it as it may" and "be it as it will" are variations that were frequently used during the 17th and 18th centuries.
"Be that as it may, the whistle is certain to be blown."
The idiom gained prominence in political speeches and influential writings. For example, it was used in Winston Churchill's speeches during World War II, accentuating its importance in formal rhetoric.
To fully grasp the essence of "be that as it may," it's helpful to examine it in various contexts and settings.
Here are ten sentences that feature the idiom:
These examples cover a range of scenarios and help to showcase how versatile and applicable this idiom is in daily communication.
The phrase "be that as it may" has appeared in various forms of media and literature, illustrating its widespread recognition and use.
Here are some real-life examples:
The idiom's prevalence in pop culture underscores its applicability and resonance in various forms of human expression and understanding.
"Be that as it may" is a unique phrase, but other expressions can convey a similar sentiment.
Let's take a look at some alternatives:
It's an expression used to acknowledge a point made by someone else, but to indicate that the point isn't enough to change one's own perspective or situation.
The phrase is often attributed to Sir Thomas More, appearing in his work as far back as the 16th century.
Yes, the phrase is generally considered formal and is more commonly used in written language or formal speech.
Yes, it can. In fact, it often serves as a transitional phrase between two contrasting statements.
It's not necessarily cliché, but it is considered somewhat old-fashioned by some. Use it when you feel it suits the tone and context.
"However" is more straightforward and doesn't carry the nuance of reluctant agreement that "be that as it may" does.
There is no widely-accepted shorter form of this phrase. It's generally used in its complete form to preserve its meaning.
No, it's not a phrase you'll hear frequently in modern pop culture, though it does make appearances in classical literature and historical films.
Many languages have their own idioms that serve a similar function, but they may not translate exactly.
While it's less common in casual, everyday conversation, it still sees use in more formal or written contexts.
In the whirlpool of idioms that make up the English language, "be that as it may" stands out as a formal, somewhat antiquated expression that nonetheless remains useful.
Idioms like "be that as it may" enrich our language by adding depth and nuance, and understanding them opens up new dimensions of expression. So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to acknowledge someone else's point but still hold your ground, you might just find this phrase to be the perfect fit.