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Here is an example:
She was raised in a small town.
She was born at the hospital located three hours drive of the town. Because there wasn't a hospital in the town.

If you were her, and were asked "where are you from?", what would you say?

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4 Answers 4

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She could say:

I was born in {city name}, in the state| province of {name} in {country name}.

She could go on to say:

But my family were from { village name | town name }, a small town|village about a three-hour drive from {city name}. There was no hospital in { town|village name}.

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"Where are you from?" doesn't just mean "where do you live?" It can also mean, "where were you raised?" or "where were you living before here?" It does not mean "where were you born?" but more accurately, "where did you grow up?"

By way of example, even though I live in the Dallas local area, I got on a bus and the driver asked me, "Where are you from?" after I spoke to him. I replied, "I'm from Louisiana," even though I live in Dallas only a few blocks from where the bus was taking me.

In this "context" (which I would in fact argue that there is no context because we haven't said anything to this girl to begin with), I would expect the girl to say that she's from the small town she was raised in.

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  • +1 although rather than answering with some obscure small town no one has ever heard of, she might choose the nearest largest or well known city.
    – user6951
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 23:38
  • It can also change drastically depending on context - for example, at some events or gatherings, I might say I am from Australia, others I may say I am from X business or university, and still others I might answer 'Y department' or 'Team Z'. In all of those cases, the person asking doesn't want to know what town I was raised in.
    – Damien H
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 4:37
  • Where are you from? surely can mean where were you born? Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 16:19
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In this case it is certainly the town from where she comes. When we ask someone 'Where do you come from?', we generally mean where s/he stays or lives. Imagine an instance wherein we both are sitting in an airplane. In a casual conversation, if you ask me, "Where do you come from", I'd certainly reply, "India". Let the flight be from New York to Las Vegas, those places don't matter.

As far as the question 'Where do you come from' is concerned (out of this context), it'll be too broad to answer. A Leah's friend who has come from her college, may get an answer from another friend ~ I'm coming from Leah's house but she's not there as well.

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  • If the question uses "do", Where do you come from? then it will relate to the person's home town or to their homeland, that is, their "place of origin". If the question uses "have", Where have you come from? then it will relate to the starting point of the trip that brought them to the current location, i.e. the questioner's "here". "I've come from John's house." "I've just come from the airport". "I've come from a distant solar system."
    – TimR
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 14:04
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Where you from and where you're born are the same thing. If I was born in Louisiana on March 1st and lived in Dallas from March 3rd until I'm 30 then the answer is Louisiana. Now when a person ask "where were you raised" then that's when you say Dallas.

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