I wrote 2 sentences:

Many ethnic groups migrated into Vietnamese territory at different historical periods: some came thousands of years ago and some came hundreds of years ago. Regardless of that, once you have lived on the S-shaped strip of land*, you are all considered of the same roots and are compatriots united by mutual understanding, allegiance, attachment and care.

*Vietnam is a long, narrow nation shaped like the letter S.

The problem is in bold:

Once you have lived on the S-shaped strip of land--> Does it make sense? I want to imply that those ethnic groups resided and still to this day reside in Vietnam. However, after it I use Present Simple (you are all considered...) which I think is not very suitable since I usually see Future tense after Once + Present perfect such as: Once I've done my homework, I'll go out

  • 1
    Well-written question , +1 ! I think you are trying to make a comparison with this "once you have lived ... , you /will be/ considered". If so , that will make more sense to those who are yet to live there (eg new immigrants wanting to be citizens) & not suitable to current citizens who have lived there for generations. If you are talking to "foreigners who have recently become citizens" & you want to say they are equal citizens , you can say "you will be". Talking about existing citizens , you can say "having lived [here] , you are all considered compatriots". Nothing wrong with your wording.
    – Prem
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 7:30
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    It is not a strip of land. A strip of land would be much smaller than Vietnam....
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 17, 2022 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


If you're talking about ethnic groups that have lived in Vietnam for a long time, then "once" is the wrong conjunction.

"Once" can mean "as soon as", or it can mean "if...ever", but neither of these meanings apply:

"As soon as you have lived in Vietnam, you are considered of the same roots."
"If you have ever lived in Vietnam, you are considered of the same roots."

Clearly, neither of these is the meaning you're after.

Consider something like, "Any people who have settled on the S-shaped piece of land...". Here I use "people" in the sense of "ethnic group", not the plural of "person".

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