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1). A majority of voters approved changes to Russia's constitution that would allow president valdmir putin to hold power until 2036

2). A majority of voters approved changes to Russia's constitution that will allow president valdmir putin to hold power until 2036

Which of the following sentences is correct?? If both are correct, What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences???

I know as the sentence is in past tense we should use "would". But as the constitution is still allowing and will allow for some time in future , can't we use "will"???

2 Answers 2

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The second one is appropriate, because assuming from the context, the "changes" haven't been made yet. So if they are made, they will be made in the future, so 'will' is appropriate. We hardly ever use 'would' instead of 'will' when the future of both 'now' and the past is the same.

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The following are correct:

  1. Voters are considering changes to Russia’s constitution that would allow President Vladimir Putin to hold power until 2036.

  2. A majority of voters approved changes to Russia’s constitution that will allow President Vladimir Putin to hold power until 2036.

“A majority of voters approved changes that would” is wrong, because the the changes are no longer contingent. The “election” has been held; the changes will cause the indicated consequence.

(Not the correction to the spelling and capitalization of the names.)

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  • Why did you change the text of the first sentence from, *"A majority of voters approved changes..." to "Voters are considering changes..."?
    – gotube
    Feb 26 at 3:08
  • @gotube — that is the entire point! While the voters are still considering approving the changes, the consequences are still conditional. If the voters approve the changes, then they take effect; otherwise, perhaps not. Everything is conditional. Feb 26 at 4:51
  • Ah. I read it to mean there's still some contingency, even though the voters have approved it. If there's no contingency, then you're right.
    – gotube
    Feb 26 at 22:27
  • @gotube — “ Impossible to see, the future is.” Anything might be contingent, if it has not happened yet. Unless the sentence is about contingency (and typically counter-factuality), use the future tense. Feb 27 at 15:06
  • I don't know the legal workings of Russian referenda, so I'm allowing for the possibility that there are still legal contingencies after the public approves the changes. I don't mean "contingent" in the trivial sense that "anything is possible".
    – gotube
    Feb 27 at 17:10

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