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 From

Below you'll find different questions you can use to find out where somebody is from. These are great conversational openers. Take a look!
Where are you from?
 
Where do you come from?
 
Where do you live?
 
Do you like living in Canada?
 
How long have you lived in America?
 
How long have you been Scotland?
 
What nationality are you?
 
What is your hometown?
 
Where did you grow up?
 
Where were you born?
 
Where is Austin, Texas?
 
Are you from England?
 
What languages do you speak?
 
What is your first language?
 
 
Where are you from?
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.
Where do you live?
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 New York City on 5th street.
What nationality are you?
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. I'm Brazilian. If you know someone's nationality, then you also know where they come from.
What is your hometown?
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 Seattle, Washington.
What is your first language?
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? and 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 From

Here 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'm from Canada.
 
I come from a small town.
 
I live in Australia.
 
I've been living here for two years.
 
I'm German.
 
My hometown is in the United States.
 
I grew up in the UK.
 
I was born in China.
 
 
I'm from Canada
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?.
I live in Australia
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?.
I've been living here for two years
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 could be Do you like it here?.
I grew up in the UK
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?.
I was born in China
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 Shanghai. Somebody might respond to a sentence like this by asking a question like: When did you move here?.

Answers to the Most Common Questions

What are the most essential English phrases for talking about where people are from?
  • Where are you from?
  • Where do you come from?
  • I'm from Canada.
  • I live in Australia.
  • Where do you live?
  • What is your hometown?
  • I've been living here for two years.
  • I grew up in the UK.

Show All Phrases
How do I tell someone where I grew up?
Here are two way to tell someone where you grew up:

I was born in + PLACE.
  • I was born in China.
  • I was born in Austria.
  • I was born in Mexico.
I grew up in + PLACE.
  • I grew up in the UK.
  • I grew up in Spain.
  • I grew up in Thailand.

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