By seeing how chaotic and bloody <was> the French Revolution <was> in 1789

Shingho

Member
Chinese-Mandarin
Hi guys! I am struggling with the choice between the two sentences:

1) By seeing how chaotic and bloody was the French Revolution in 1789, it is safe to conclude that the bloodless victory of the revolution could not be sustained through violence and coercion.

2) By seeing how chaotic and bloody the French Revolution was in 1789, it is safe to conclude that the bloodless victory of the revolution could not be sustained through violence and coercion.

My struggle is: Should I choose the second one because it puts "was" behind "the French Revolution" so that is the correct grammar? Or the first one? Or both of them are legit?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    This sentence has more problems than where to place “was”.

    Why are you starting with “by seeing” ? That passive structure hides the agent - WHO is seeing?
    Who is concluding?
    What’s your context?
    Does any of this sentence actually make sense?

    More questions than answers, I’m afraid. But if you just want to churn out student-ese, without making it coherent : I’d say use 2.
     

    Shingho

    Member
    Chinese-Mandarin
    This sentence has more problems than where to place “was”.

    Why are you starting with “by seeing” ? That passive structure hides the agent - WHO is seeing?
    Who is concluding?
    What’s your context?
    Does any of this sentence actually make sense?

    More questions than answers, I’m afraid. But if you just want to churn out student-ese, without making it coherent : I’d say use 2.
    Thanks for your reply! These two sentence were derived from a longer essay I had written... I too think the second one is better, yet does that mean the first one is wrong? Or does it just sound weird?
     

    Anand Tayi

    New Member
    Telugu
    The sentence 1 seems to me as therein subject was confined only to "chaotic and bloody" and the french revolution was separated from it, therefore it is meant as chaotic and bloody was french revolution, which seems meaningless to me. So, I also say use 2.
     

    Shingho

    Member
    Chinese-Mandarin
    This sentence has more problems than where to place “was”.

    Why are you starting with “by seeing” ? That passive structure hides the agent - WHO is seeing?
    Who is concluding?
    What’s your context?
    Does any of this sentence actually make sense?

    More questions than answers, I’m afraid. But if you just want to churn out student-ese, without making it coherent : I’d say use 2.
    Many thanks!!
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    1 By seeing When we consider how chaotic and bloody the French Revolution was...

    This is normal word order.

    2 When we consider how chaotic and bloody was the French Revolution...

    This is a more old-fashioned style, so I would not normally choose it. Either version can be used though. It's a question of style, since I believe the grammar is correct in both cases.
     
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