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What is the acceptable way of the two following sentence? (because I heard the both):

"Where do you live"

or

"where do you live in"?

10

"Where" is a word meaning place or location. "In" is superfluous when asking about the location that way. It would be necessary if you asked about a town or district because then you need the preposition:

What town do you live in?

but if you want to start the question with "where", it simply should be

Where do you live?

7
  • But, you typically do need "in" in the response: "Where do you live?" "I live in North America." – Joshua Taylor Oct 23 '15 at 20:41
  • @JoshuaTaylor: No. You can say "I live here", no "in". Or you can say "I live under a rock", or "I live on the Moon". – Victor Bazarov Oct 23 '15 at 20:55
  • Many people say "Where do you live at?" which sounds redundant to me though possibly acceptable. – shawnt00 Oct 23 '15 at 20:55
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    @VictorBazarov Yes, you can. My point was not that "in" must appear in every response to "Where do you live?" but to clarify that there's a bit of an asymmetry in this question and answer. Many answers can be created by rephrasing the question: "What did you eat for lunch?" "For lunch I ate ____." For an OP who's wonder about whether "in" should be included in the question (it doesn't need to be included), it seems reasonable to clarify that it does often need to be included in the answer. I'm not criticizing your answer, just commenting so no one starts answering, e.g., "I live London". – Joshua Taylor Oct 23 '15 at 20:59
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    Here, there, under a rock, on the moon, in North America, in London and where all have something important in common. Once we understand what that is, what might seem at first to be an asymmetry turns out to make a lot of sense. – user230 Oct 23 '15 at 23:00
2

When you use the word where as an adverb to ask a question, it usually means in what place, at what place, or to what place; so the preposition "in" is already there in its meaning. The use of "in" in the OP's sentence is unnecessary; the sentence should be as follows:

Where do you live?

However, we use the prepositions to and at in very informal English such as:

Where is the party at?

Where are you going to?

Sometimes, you can use the preposition "in" when you start a question with where to know about a point in a place such as:

Where do you live in America/London/that town?

0

I would say it is a poor or vague question, because 'where' only refers most generally to a location. So the answer might be, I live in a castle, or I live at the North Pole or I live in the city. It is better to ask specifically for the information you are seeking. What is your address? What city do you live in? What state do you live in? But to answer your question, Where do you live? is correct grammar.

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If you asked "Where do you live in?", you would not only be redundant, but you would be ending the question with a preposition, which is grammatically incorrect.

So to be correct, you should ask "Where do you live?"

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    "Where do you live in?" is indeed redundant, but "ending sentences with prepositions" is one of those irritating myths decrying features of English that there's nothing wrong with. Please do not repeat it. – Nathan Tuggy Oct 23 '15 at 20:31

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