Be it a book or a movie, a good story is always appreciated.

Can ‘be it’ be followed by plural?

Ex. Be it books or movies, a good story is always appreciated.

What I thought is that ‘it’ always refers to a singular form of noun. So, ‘be it’ always goes with singular noun. But I am not sure whether it is true or not.

help me with your suggestion.

  • Books and movies are not plural here. They are singular. – Kris Jun 15 '18 at 6:08
  • Confusion is still not cleared. Can you add more details? how can books or movies be singular? is there any grammar rule? Because i learned that more than one in number is called plural. – Simul Chowdhury Jun 15 '18 at 6:41
  • Btw, see also English Language Learners – Kris Jun 15 '18 at 6:42
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    Everyone seems to be missing the obvious point here. The pronoun refers to "a good story" not to books or movies. Your example, incidentally, is not grammatical. You need to say "Be it from a book or a movie, a good story is always appreciated". – WS2 Jun 15 '18 at 7:09
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    Kris is not correct here. Books and movies are both plural nouns, regardless of whether they refer to individual books and movies or their respective genres as a whole. It would still be ungrammatical to say, “Books is an important part of cultural heritage”, for instance. And @WS2 is correct that it refers to the story, which means what you’re really saying is, “A good story is always appreciated, whether that good story is books or movies”. That is not necessarily inherently ungrammatical, but it doesn’t make sense semantically. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 15 '18 at 7:24

According to the British National Corpus (http://bncweb.lancs.ac.uk), all the examples shown (with the construction "be it + noun 1 or noun 2") suggested the use of the singular form of the nouns that come after it.

Here are a few examples I retrieved from the corpus:-

  • When he commits himself to an assignment — be it a poem, a book, a song, or merely aiding a fellow-scribbler's itch, he does it with gusto — con brio , as he might annotate one of his scores.

  • Not exactly, because this very mimicry of the dominant, be it a literary trope or cultural actuality, involved a scandalous inversion.

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"It" plural pronouns "they", "them", and "those" So, Be they a book or a movie, a good story is always appreciated.

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Be it is singular, books and movies are plural. When used with plurals, the be it transforms to be they, and the rest of your sentence also transforms to the plural.

So, Be it books or movies, a good story is always appreciated is re-cast as Be they books or movies, good stories are always appreciated. But, a good writer would re-cast that again to, Be they from books or movies, good stories are always appreciated (added the word "from").

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