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When someone asks me, where do you go to school, are they asking for the address of the school that I attend?

  • 'Where do you go for school' would require place's address I think. 'Where do you go for school' ~ 'Port Hope'. However, to me 'which' is better than 'where' to do away with any ambiguity. 'Which school do you go?' – Maulik V Oct 27 '15 at 6:47
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There is a distinct difference between American and British dialects of English here. In British English, "school" implicitly excludes university or college education.

As a user of British English, if I were asked where I went to school, I would respond with the name of my secondary school. If I believed that the listener would not know of my secondary school, I might give general information (eg. "I went to school in my home town")

If I were at university and was asked "Where do you go to school" I would explain that I don't go to school any more, instead I go to university.

As always, context is everything. The questioner wants to know about my place of education. What information I would give would depend on what I believed them to want. Often that would be the school's name, but only rarely would I think that a full postal address was expected.

  • Could you clear a little thing to me? If the question is asking something that happened in the past shouldn't it be "Where did you went to school? " or "Where did you go to school?" ( not sure if the last one is correct grammatically) – Freedo Oct 25 '15 at 22:19
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    @Freedo, It shouldn't. The past tense is expressed by the auxiliary verb, "do" ("did"), the main verb ("go") is in the infinitive. – Victor Bazarov Oct 26 '15 at 0:52
  • School finished long ago for me. I doubt that anyone would ask me about school in the present tense! The question is posed in the present tense. But this is not key to my answer, which is to answer with the name of your school, plus other information appropriate to the context.. – James K Oct 26 '15 at 7:19
  • @Freedo The last one is correct; the first one is not. And, yes, it should. – Lightness Races with Monica Oct 26 '15 at 12:11
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Where do you go to school?

It means "What is the name of the school you attend?"

Alternatively. You can say:

Which school do you go to? or

Which school do you attend?

However, the use of the verb attend is more formal.

  • What about "where do you study"? – Anixx Oct 26 '15 at 13:58
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    No, it doesn't convey the same sense as mentioned in my answer. You may study at home, in your bed room, in a library, etc. – Khan Oct 26 '15 at 17:16
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No, when we ask this question, we are asking for the name of the school. If some asked me, 'Where did you go to school?' I would say, "I went to the University of Florida."

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    Note that, outside the US (and Canada?), "school" refers to primary and secondary education, not university. – David Richerby Oct 25 '15 at 20:09
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    Actually, in the U.S., "school" in this context means either secondary school (high school) or college. When you don't know if someone went to college, we use the word "school" so we don't offend someone who may not have gone to college. It's a polite way of asking. The person will answer back with the location of their highest education, whether high school, undergraduate, graduate, etc. – KittyConsultant Oct 26 '15 at 5:31
  • That doesn't change the accuracy of David's statement. – Lightness Races with Monica Oct 26 '15 at 12:12
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit Correct. Just imparting additional fun facts. – KittyConsultant Oct 26 '15 at 13:01
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As I see it, the question "Where do you go to school?" is used when we ask a boy or a girl of school ages (from primary school to high school). What we want to know is where he or she does her formal classes. The answer is expected to be: I go to school at (name of school).