If we want to find out the place where one came in a marathon, we can ask:

- Where did you finish?

But, for some reason this structure sounds too general to us(non-native speakers). When we hear this, it sounds as if the speaker is asking about a physical location rather than a number. For instance:

A: Where did you finish?

B: I finished here/there/near the mall, etc.

So, instead of "where did you finish?", can we say "Where did you rank?" to emphasize the exact number in that series we want to find out. Would it be "as idiomatic as the above sentence."

  • 1
    A more common option is to say "Where did you place?" News reports will often say "He placed fifth in the race", and so on.
    – ralph.m
    Commented Jun 17, 2023 at 3:14

1 Answer 1


"Where did you finish?" is a natural way to ask the question and better than "Where did you rank?". The response "I finished fifth" is more natural than "I ranked fifth". Only the most inflexibly literal-minded person would think that "Where did you finish?" could be answered with "At the finish line"

You could also ask "Where did you come?", "Where did you place?" or just "How did you do?"

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