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a) They will be late, whether the reason be/is they left late or got stuck in traffic.

b) They will be late, whether it be/is because they left late or got stuck in traffic.

Any preferences between 'be' 'is' and 'a' and 'b'? If so, why?

Thanks
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Comments  (Page 2) 
AvangiBe he alive or be he dead

I notice there is an inversion when 'whether' is omitted.
My grandfather used these old expressions, and he was a working man. He didn't say much, but he was clearly understood.
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Would a teacher please tell me what they think about the 2 sentences?
I don't know if whether it be or is is correct.
Would you say that the whole sentence is correct English?
He wants to become famous at all cost whether it be, becoming a singer, actor or dancer.
He wants to become famous at all cost whether it is, becoming a singer, actor or dancer.

Thank you very much