Do you want to find out where your English-speaking friends and colleagues come from? Being able to do this is a basic skill that all English speakers should know. It'll help you meet new people from all over the world and deepen existing friendships.
Here you'll learn phrases for asking where others are from and for talking about your own origins. Check out the tables below and start mastering these important skills!
Asking Someone Where They Come FromBelow you'll find different questions you can use to find out where somebody is from. These are great conversational openers. Take a look!
Do you like living in Australia?
How long have you lived in Ireland?
How long have you been in Canada?
What nationality are you?
Where is Washington, D.C.?
What languages do you speak?
What is your first language?
Using this question is the easiest way to find out where somebody is from. You could also ask:
Where do you come from?
. You could respond to this question by saying what country, city, or town you are from. For example:
I'm from Japan
This question is similar to Where are you from?
but is asking where your current home is. You could respond with the country, town, street, or even the building that you are living in. For example like this:
I live in Los Angeles on Main Street
To answer this question you simply have to state your own nationality. So, for example, if you are from Brazil, then your nationality is Brazilian
. If you know someone's nationality, then you also know where they come from.
The word hometown
could mean a couple of different things. It could be the town you grew up in, the place you currently live in, or really just anywhere you would call home. An example response to this question is:
My hometown is Los Angeles
This question is asking what language did you grow up speaking the most? There are two other ways to ask this same question:
What is your mother tongue?
What is your native language?
. To answer these questions, simply say your first language. For example like this:
My first language is English
Telling Someone Where You Are FromHere we've collected different ways to talk about where you come from. Use them when getting to know someone new or when you want to talk about your own origins.
I come from a small town.
I've been living here for two years.
My hometown is in Australia.
The easiest way to tell someone where you are from is to use the sentence pattern I'm from + PLACE
. Here is another example:
I'm from Japan
. Probably the most common thing to do after telling someone where you are from is to then ask them:
Where are you from?
To tell someone where you currently live, use the sentence pattern I live in + PLACE.
. Here is another example of how to use this sentence pattern:
I live in Los Angeles with my girlfriend
. Someone might respond to a sentence like this by saying:
Do you like living there?
To tell someone how long you have lived somewhere, you can use the sentence pattern I've been living here for + PERIOD OF TIME
. For example:
I've been living in the city for one year
. There are many ways somebody could respond to sentences like this. For example, a response to I've been living here for two years
Do you like it here?
With the sentence pattern I grew up in + PLACE.
you can tell someone where you grew up. For example, you could say something like this:
I grew up in Ireland
. One way that someone could respond to this is by asking:
What was it like there?
To tell someone where you were born, you can use the sentence pattern I was born in + PLACE.
. For example, you could say something like this:
I was born in a town near New York City
. Somebody might respond to a sentence like this by asking a question like:
When did you move here?
Answers to the Most Common Questions