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Where are you from?

Updated: May 29, 2020

Where are you from?

I'm from London.

But what does that mean. Let's look at me:

I was born in Cambridge.

I have lived in Cambridge, Bristol, Tokyo and London.

I've lived in London for 15 years - which is a most of my adult life.

Can I say "I'm from London" when I was born in Cambridge? Yes, is the answer. Imagine this conversation.

A: Where are you from?

B: I'm from Cambridge.

A: Oh, me too. Have you been to the new pub on the High Street?

B: No, I haven't been there for 15 years.

A: But you said you were from Cambridge?

B: I am, but I live in London.

Here the person said they were from Cambridge but didn't know anything about Cambridge. This is not helpful.

My rule is: say you are from the place you know the best.

Example conversations

A: Where are you from?

B: I'm from London.

A: Were you born there?

B: No, I'm originally from Cambridge.

Originally from = the first place you were from

A: Where are you from?

B: Cambridge originally, but I live in London.

A: Where are you from?

B: London, but I now live in Tokyo.

A: Were you born in London?

B: No, I was born in Cambridge but moved away 15 years ago.

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