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Hi,

I read this sentence in newspaper: 'Whether it be bird, fish or beast, the porpoise is intrigued with anything that is alive', and got really confused by the usage of 'Whether it be...'.

Is it subjunctive?

If it is, what's it mean? Is there any rule for this subjunctive usage?

It it isn't, then what's this usage?

Compared with 'whether it is bird, fish or beast, the porpoise is intrigued with anything that is alive'', what's the difference between these 2 sentences?

Thanks in advance!!
Comments  
Yes, this is subjunctive mood.

Subjunctive mood - mood of verbs used when the content of the clause is being doubted, supposed, feared true, etc., rather than being asserted.

So, the porpoise takes interest in every creature it encounters. Hypothetically, it may be fish, it may be a bird, or it may be a beast.
vchekhvchekh
Thanks, vchekh.

Then, if I use 'whether it is' in this sentence, does it have different meaning?