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  1. #1
    paula carla is offline Newbie
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    Default If The Truth Be Known

    HELLO,
    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY GRAMMAR RULES OF HOW TO USE THE EXPRESSION - IF THE TRUTH BE KNOWN, I MEAN THE STRUCTURE, BECAUSE IVE STUDIED IF CLAUSES BUT NONE OF THEM IS SIMILAR TO THE WAY IT IS IN THIS CASE. COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME THE MEANING OF IT AS WELL CAUSE I DIDNT UNDERSTAND?
    THANKS A LOT

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: If The Truth Be Known

    'If the truth' be known is often used as a way of introducing a fact, especially a negative one:
    If the truth be known, his company are looking for a replacement as they want to sack him.

  3. #3
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    angliholic is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: If The Truth Be Known

    If the truth (should) be known, his company are looking for a replacement as they want to sack him.

    Tdol is expert at explaining this, and the above is my wildest guess: there is an ellipsis of should in the context.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: If The Truth Be Known

    It could be explained that way, but it's present subjunctive, which is rarely used in British English nowadays, though it is more common in American English. I would use this expression, but it would be a fossilised phrase to me as I don't use the present subjunctive outside a few expressions.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: If The Truth Be Known

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It could be explained that way, but it's present subjunctive, which is rarely used in British English nowadays, though it is more common in American English. I would use this expression, but it would be a fossilised phrase to me as I don't use the present subjunctive outside a few expressions.

    There are lots of similar fossils - 'be that as it may', 'come what may', 'albeit' [although it may be] .... They're still current, but only as fossils - we don't do anything to the internal grammar: for example, people use 'albeit' with a plural subject, although if they thought about it they might say ' albethey'.

    b

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