Where Are You From or Where Do You Come From? What’s the difference?

“Where are you from?” and  “Where do you come from?” mean the same thing. They are two different ways to ask where someone is born and where they grew up.

“Where are you from?” is more common nowadays and you should use “Where are you from?” if you want to know the country or region someone was born.


Where are you from?

I am from Ireland.

Where are you from?

“Where are you from?” is a very common question that people ask when they meet someone for the first time. 

People ask this question so they can have some background information about your life often so they can find some common ground 


Where are you from?


Oh great, I have some cousins in Ireland and I visited there last year.

Cool, where are your cousins from?


Oh, Galway is beautiful, you should visit….

This is a very typical example of a conversation when you first meet someone.

The meaning of “where are you from?” or the statement “I am from..”  is the place where you were born and/or grew up. 

Sometimes people move around a lot and find it difficult to answer this question as maybe they were born in one place and moved shortly after that. The answer to the question is usually the place and culture that you most closely relate to.


Where are you from?

Well, I was born in Spain but we moved to the Netherlands when I was a young child. 

Where do you come from?

“Where do you come from?” is simply another way to say “where are you from?”.

“Where do you come from?” uses the verb “to come” instead of the verb “to be” and for that reason we need the auxiliary verb “do” to show that it is a question.


Where do you come from?

I am from Turkey

 “Where do you come from?” is becoming less and less common as it is more difficult to say.

Where in ___ are you from?

If you want a follow-up question to find out the exact location of where someone is from you can use “where in ___ are you from”?  I often ask this question as I am interested in different regions within countries and learning more about cultural differences within countries.


Where are you from?


Where in India are you from?


You can also say “What part of ___ are you from?”

Where are you coming from?

The question “where are you coming from?” is usually used when someone is traveling and is used to discover the origin of the trip.


(Airport Security) Where are you coming from today?

(Passenger) I started my journey in Hamburg and I had a stopover in Frankfurt.

How to reply to “where are you from?”

People usually reply to “where are you from” with the country of their birth. Some people may feel that the country they were born in doesn’t identify them so they use the culture that they feel the most connected to.

In some bigger countries like the U.S.A, people will often say the city or state especially when they are within their own borders. 

Where are you really from?

“Where are you really from?” is not a question you should ask in English. This often comes up when the person’s appearance does not match some preconceived prejudice of people from that country. 

If someone answers that they are from a certain country, you should accept that and not question it. We live in a world where people from all ethnicities live all around the world. You can read more about “where are you really from?” here.

Where are you from vs Where do you live?

“Where are you from”  means where you were born and raised whereas “where do you live” means the place where you currently live. 

It is very common nowadays for people to be from one place and live in another.


Where are you from?

Well, I am from Jamaica but I live in London. 

Where did you came from or come from?

The correct sentence is “where did you come from”. When we have the auxiliary verb “did” in the past form, we do not need to put the main verb “come” also in the past. You can read more about the past simple here. 

Final thoughts

Whether you use “where you are from?” or “where do you come from?” is your decision. Both are acceptable and “where are you from?” is more common nowadays.