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  1. #1
    Linus2005 is offline Newbie
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    Default be this in terms of ...

    I read about a line that says, " We begin to move restlessly about if we feel time is slipping away without some return --- be this in terms of pleasure, work value, or rest".

    I have no problem in understanding the sentence before the "---" (dash).
    Could someone help me with the rest?

  2. #2
    asabranca is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: be this in terms of ...

    In the first part of the sentence--the part which you already understand--it mentions a "return." Return has several meanings, but in this sense, it means a sort of income or payment (not always financial.)

    In the second part of the sentence, the author clarifies which types of returns he or she's talking about:

    "be this in terms of pleasure, work value, or rest."

    So, it's basically saying that "we begin to move restlessly about if we feel time is slipping away without a return related to pleasure, a return related to work value, or return related to rest."

    "Be this in terms of" is a linguisticly-complicated way of saying "related to."

    Good question!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: be this in terms of ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Linus2005 View Post
    " We begin to move restlessly about if we feel time is slipping away without some return --- be this in terms of pleasure, work value, or rest".
    be this = whether this be.

    This construction uses the present subjunctive; it is moderately formal. Many speakers would say something along the lines of, "..which may be in the form of pleasure, work value or rest."

    'Work value' sounds a little strange to me. I would probably say job satisfaction.

  4. #4
    Linus2005 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: be this in terms of ...

    I see. Thank you very much.

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