Which sentence sound better to you?

- The man loves to do his work, whether it be/is cleaning the house, making wooden toys or singing.

Would you replace "it" with "they" in this sentence: "I love eating in restaurants, whether it/they be Burger King, McDonalds or Taco Bell."

Thank you.


"Whether it be," though many people would use "is," not realizing it is wrong. It sounds fine to most people. If it is for a test or an English teacher or someone who knows a good deal about correct English usage, use "be;" otherwise, you may use "is." I would say, "be."

Gene93Which sentence sounds better to you?

'whether it is' / 'whether it's' in both cases.

Personally, I find 'whether it be' pretentious and stuffy, pace Englishmaven.


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I see. Would "whether they be..." sound better than "whether it be" in the second sentence?

Thank you.

 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
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Thank you, Jim. I thought that "whether they..." would work in the second sentence because of "restaurants". I know this is a dumb question before I ask it, but anyway, let's double the pain. If I want to use "it", instead of "they", shouldn't the sentence look like this:

- I love eating in a restaurant whether it....Taco Bell, Burger King or Mcdonalds.

Gene93 I love eating in a restaurant whether it....Taco Bell, Burger King or Mcdonalds.

That reads better, yes.


Thank you.

And that makes me think that "...eating in restaurants" might sound better with "whether they..." Plural (restaurants) + plural (they), but I am probably wrong. All that being said, I think that "it" might work better than "they" in this sentence:

- I am very interested in languages whether it ... Chinese, English, French, etc.

Ah, I don't know. Emotion: big smile

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I take the "it" as a sort of generic reference in these cases — as when you say "Who is it?" when someone knocks on your door. So restaurants ... it and languages ... it don't bother me in the given contexts.


I see. That makes sense. Would "they" sound unnatural then?

No more questions, that's it. Emotion: smile

Thank you.

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