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(1)Even if you cannot achieve what you wanted, you will learn many things from what you've done.
(2)Even if you cannot achieve what you want, you will learn many things from what you've done.
Are these both OK? If OK, what is the semanitc difference between the two?
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In #1 you no longer want it. You used to want to achieve something but not anymore.

In #2 you still want to achieve sth.

The second one sounds better to me. I mean, if you no longer want it then why achieve it? Emotion: smile
The first one sets the time of establishing what the person wants in the past. He still may want it, but when the goal was established in the past, that was what was wanted then.

In practice, unless the desires have changed significantly, there's not much difference.

However, the weirdness comes from "what you've done" (which sounds like whatever it is is now in the past) and "if you cannot achieve" (which sounds like the efforts haven't started, or at least are not complete yet).

Even if you cannot achieve.... from what you will do.
Even if you did not achieve... from what you've done.

Does anyone else have that disconnect?
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Hi GG,

I think that it would be better to say:

Even if you cannot achieve everything that you (originally) wanted, you will learn many things from what you've done (so far).

Does that 'everything' save the sentence to you? I also can think of adding 'originally' in order to hang this want somewhere in time. Also 'so far' at the end would clarify the meaning.

Michal
Hi Michal,

I don't need the "originally" stated - it's implicit to me.

Adding "so far" does put the sentence in the mid-stream of starting and finishing, but it's not clear to me the original author intended it that way, instead of simply making a mistake in tense.
GG,
About #1, isn't this interpretation possible?
(1)Even if you cannot achieve what you wanted, you will learn many things from what you've done.
→You had a dream. And now you find that you cannot achieve it. But even if so, you've done many things to achieve it. You will learn something important from your experience, what you've done.
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Well, maybe. But it blocks off any possibility that I will EVER achieve what I wanted.

But why is my learning in the future, when the experience of doing whatever I've done is in the past?

Do you usually learn something much later than the time you perform the act?

These two make sense to me:

You didn't achieve what you wanted, but you did learn things from what you've done. -- said after the project is complete

You can't achive (from this project) what you wanted (when you stated your goal), but you will learn things from what you will do. -- said to encourage the person to try anyway.

.
Grammar GeekWell, maybe. But it blocks off any possibility that I will EVER achieve what I wanted.
Isn't that kind of blocking off practically possible?
Grammar GeekBut why is my learning in the future, when the experience of doing whatever I've done is in the past?
Do you usually learn something much later than the time you perform the act?
Sometimes it could be, don't you think? I mean sometimes you realize LATER that what you've done in the past has an important meaning in your life, don't you?

The realization that you learned something may come later, but the learning took place already. Or you require more context to make what you did in the past have relevence to the current situation to learn something.

The original simply doesn't read naturally. It requires too many "well, it could mean this" to make the sentence plausible.

I don't really have anything else to add.
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