source text from cnn

This comprehensive solution would build on these initial measures and result in a final step for a period to be agreed upon and the resolution of concerns.

  • 1) I am wondering about to what the preposition upon refers.
  • 2) And, I think the verb agreed has two objectives, namely, the resolution and a period. Am I right?
  • 3) Moreover, would anybody readily tell me the reason why the future tense has been applied in the past, and why the previous sentences have used the simple future?
  • 4) Furthermore, would somebody please tell me if we can rewrite especially the last part of my original sentence, using the expression of which?
  • 5) And finally, could anyone please elaborate whether or not I have grammatically and properly written my questions (interrogative sentences)?

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


Well, you ask a lot of question in one, but let's see how far I get :)

  • 1) Upon refers to a period. One of the things the solution would result in is a period, and (the length of) that period is something that needs to be agreed upon. In other words, no period is decide yet, but a decision should be made.
  • 2) No. The sentence talks about "a comprehensive solution". That solution is builds on initial measures. That solution will then result in a final step that consists of two parts: a period of time during which this solution will be in place (that is the period to be agreed upon), and a resolution of concerns. A resolution of concerns means that current concerns (worries) will have to be taken away (resolved).
  • 3) There is no past tense, actually. I assume you think that would build is past tense, but it is actually future: the would indicates a (likely) possibility in the future (if and when a final solution will be reached). Compare to "I'm thinking about buying a car. It would be a red one with four wheels." This doesn't mean I bought a car in the past or that it was red in the past. It means that if and when I buy a car, I expect it to be a red one. And I expect it to have four wheels.
  • 4) I am not sure how or why you want to use of which, but you could write "This comprehensive solution would build on these initial measures and result in a final step for a period of which the length needs to be decided and the resolution of concerns."
  • 5) I took the liberty of editing your question, and I fixed some wordings and turns-of-phrase. If you look in the edit history, I think your question on this is answered.
  • +1 But I think OP would benefit from an explanation of the irrealis use of past-form would because the solution is merely hoped for, not yet by any means firmly predictable. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 22:08
  • I do appreciate my gratitude to all you. And, I am too confused about the reason why at the following has been used will and would: The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iranˈs nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful.
    – nima
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 5:29

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