What Is The Difference Between Where Do You Come From And Where Are You From?

What Is The Difference Between Where Do You Come From And Where Are You From?

What Is The Difference Between Where Do You Come From And Where Are You From?

People use “where are you from” and “where do you come from” as questions to learn about their listener’s heritage. However, have your friends ever asked each other the two questions? Do the two questions have precisely the same meaning or are they different in some ways?

What Does It Mean When People Ask, “Where Are You From”?

People who ask where you’re from might mean your hometown or country of origin. Maybe they are asking because they are trying to find out if you’re local to the area you currently reside in. It’s also possible someone else is asking because they already know where you come from but would like to find out which city or state is. 

You can answer these questions quickly when someone asks which city or state you’re from, and it can be an excellent way to share a little about yourself with your friends or coworkers. If that’s what happened for you, share below and tell us why everyone should want to talk to this person and take the time to get to know them more!

What Should You Answer When People Ask, “Where Are You From”?

When people ask, “where are you from?” there are generally two answers that are somewhat unique in their regard. First is your hometown, where you grew up, and what part of the country/world you originated from. 

Typically, people ask this question when they see another person who looks different or not like everyone else. If one were to ask, “where are you from,” they would likely be seeking more information about one’s roots or beginning. 

So they could inquire deeper into who the person was in their younger life as opposed to where they currently reside (i.e., town/city). But if that is not what the questioner is after, then going along with the assumption isn’t problematic at all; only a tad unusual or misguided depending on the intent behind asking in the first place.

Letting your fans or customers know where you come from is common. You could be born just outside Tokyo, Japan, and live in Houston, Texas. When someone asks you where you were born, you can say that specifically. 

However, it may not be necessary to lengthen the story by including information about Houston when they ask you where you’re from. It is entirely up to a person who is asked because saying “just outside of Tokyo” or just saying “from Japan” gives enough information for whoever is asking them anyway.

What Is The Difference Between “Where Are You From” And “Where Do You Come From”?

What’s the difference between “where are you from” and “where do you come from”? While both questions can pique someone’s interest about your background and what makes you the person you are, many people prefer to use “where are you from.” 

For some reason, it feels like it’s more appropriate or at least less offensive. “Where do you come from” is only used from time to time when someone asks how you arrived at a specific place or location. And since “to do” is a present-tense verb, using this in conjunction with any past-tense incident sounds archaic and off-putting. So that’s why most people opt for “where are you from.”

However, when it comes to this question specifically, you can answer it in the same way you would if somebody asked you where your family was from. For example, “I’m from Japan but live in Texas.” That works well if your family came over as immigrants. However, if they didn’t, it might be more appropriate to say something like “I’m from Japan” instead since that shows your nationality while also serving as a direct response to the exact question they asked of you.

6 Examples Of A Conversation With “Where Are You From.”

We find that examples are some of the most valuable ways for you to learn all there is to know about questions like these. We’ll include as many examples as we can, starting with the more common question “where are you from.”

  1. I know you’re not from around here. Where are you from?
  2. I noticed you have a few traditions that aren’t local here! Where are you from?
  3. If you don’t mind me asking, where are you from? Only your accent gives you away!
  4. Where are you from? I’ve always wanted to visit new countries! Is it nice there?
  5. I want to ask you where you are from? Is that rude of me?
  6. Where are you from? And what’s the food like there? You’re such a good cook!
  7. You must have traveled the whole world! Where are you from, though?

The question “where are you from” often comes up when it’s made clear that the person we’re speaking to isn’t local to our area. 

Whether it’s their accent, traditions, or something else that gives them away, we usually ask them when we’d like to know where they come from.

It’s never meant as a rude term, so if somebody takes offense to it, there might be something deeper going on there that you may need to discuss.

Why is it wrong to say “Where did you come from” instead of “where did you come from?”

The simple past tense of “come” is “came.” So, for instance, a sentence like “He came from a small town in the Midwest,” uses the single word “came” to indicate that the action took place in the past. 

When that same sentence is put into a negative sense, such as “He did not come from a small town in the Midwest,” the verb “came” splits into two parts: The main verb reverts to its base form of “come.” An auxiliary verb appears before it that connects it to the central part—in this case, “did.” 

As mentioned earlier, this auxiliary verb takes on all of its conjugation (or inflection), which in this case would be its past tense. So while at first glance, we see the subject coming from a small town (“come”) in one statement and not coming from that same small city in another statement (“did [not] come”), this sensation is an illusion since we know as linguists that there’s still only one word at play here, which is “[not] came.”