I'm confused with this sentence. What does it mean? Notre-dame has been restored before, after vandalism during the French Revolution and neglect until the 19th century, when the spire was rebuilt.

I'm confused with the timeline. What happened between French Revolution and the 19th century? Has notre dame been restored or neglected? And why it's "neglect" instead of "neglected"?

Thank you very much!

Apr 18, 2019 7:57 AM
Comments · 6

There’s nothing wrong with the sentence grammatically, although it’s a bit confusing. I think adding a comma after “French Revolution” would make it clearer.

Notre-Dame has been restored before:

- after  vandalism during the French Revolution;

- after neglect until the 19th century. (This means it was neglected before the 19th century and stopped being neglected in the 19th century. The word “neglect” here is a noun and not a verb. After neglect = after the time it was neglected.)

April 18, 2019

The sentence is fine. The important word is "and" which joins the earlier restoration and the neglect (until the nineteenth century) together in one clause.

Neglected is not needed or used because it wasn't in the past it was from the earlier restoration until the 19th century. (grammatically)

although it was in the past (historically). 

Notre dam was both restored and then neglected (historically) from todays perspective.

This alternative sentence allows you to use neglected in the grammatical sense your are looking for.

"Notre dam was restored after vandalism during the French revolution, and then left neglected until the 19th century" 

April 18, 2019
Thank you all for helping me. Especially thanks [email protected]@John, thank you very much for making the sentence clear to me. I thought "neglect" was a verb but after your explanation i realise it's a noun. And the rest of the sentence makes sense to me too.
April 18, 2019
It seems to say that it was vandalised during the French Revolution and its upkeep was neglected since then, until the 19th century when it was at last restored.
April 18, 2019

I think it is a confusing sentence.

To answer the question about why "neglect" rather than "neglected", it's because it is being listed alongside "vandalism". I suppose an alternative might have been "after it was vandalised during the French Revolution and neglected until the 19th century".

The sentence does read as if Notre-Dame had been restored twice before: once after the vandalism, and once after the neglect. I don't think that's the intent though. Also, in terms of working out the timeline, it's helpful to know that the 19th century restoration started in 1845. So perhaps the sentence would have been clearer if it had been "Notre-Dame has been restored before (including rebuilding the spire) in the mid 19th century, after vandalism during the French Revolution and subsequent neglect."

April 18, 2019
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Chinese (Mandarin), English
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