There is a sentence:

If you really want to achieve the accomplishment like mine, you would have to accept the hardship and have experienced it for twenty years.

I want to know the usage of "would have to accept" and "have experienced." And what does this sentence mean?

The context is: There is a person. After many years of experiencing hardships, he has achieved some accomplishment. Later when someone ask him, "how should we do to achieve the accomplishment like yours?" Then this person answers this way.

  • It sounds like this is not your original sentence. Could you provide a source? The sentence sounds rather vague, almost like you're covering the speaker's identity.
    – miltonaut
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 14:04
  • The correct sentence is perhaps "you would have had to"? Since the OP didn't made an effort as much as the one who told the OP that.
    – user17814
    Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 10:26

2 Answers 2


Some hardships are involuntary, such as abject poverty.

However other hardships are "accepted" because they are deliberately taken on, perhaps with a long-term goal in mind.

For example:
A person may have the choice of taking a modestly-paid job upon finishing basic schooling, or pursue higher education at university for several more years. Those years may be difficult if they have to support themselves during their education without the income of a full-time job, but they believe that it is worthwhile to endure that "hardship" for a few years because they have the prospect of a better career at the end of it.

So, in your sentence:

"If you really want to achieve the accomplishment like mine, you would have to accept the hardship and have experienced it for twenty years"

the writer is saying that they experienced hardships for twenty years to achieve what they did, and if anyone else wants the same achievement they must put in the same hard work and endure the same hardships. (This is quite a common attitude held by so-called "self made men" - that is individuals, often from a working-class background, whose success in business came from their own hard work. They are often portrayed as having disdain for people who want to know the "secret" of their success, as if there is a shortcut to it)

Incidentally, I have to say the sentence as written isn't great English - the phrase "achieve the accomplishment" is a bit of a tautology. It is almost the same as saying "accomplish an accomplishment" or "achieve an achievement"!

I would just say:

If you really want an achievement like mine....

Hope this helps!


The entire sentence means the speaker accomplished something and that for others to do the same, they must:

  • Take on a hardship. Doing so voluntarily implies that it is accepted. The phrasing "would have to accept" is saying that voluntarily accepting the hardship is a condition that must be met before trying to accomplish the same thing as the speaker.
  • Allow that hardship to be part of life for twenty years. "Have experienced it" means that it takes no less than twenty years of enduring the hardship to learn the lessons needed to accomplish the same thing as the speaker.

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