1

Which country do you come from?

What is the meaning? Which countryside do you come from? or Which nation do you come from?

7
  • strictly depends on the country this question is asked in. In India, if you ask this, the reply expected is some other nation and never anything else. County, countryside are not so popular here. Instead, we use 'rural areas'.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 7:26
  • I agree with Maulik V although that I don't believe that there is any other meaning that comes with that word other than which nation do you come from. If so, I haven't heard of it.
    – CipherBot
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 7:29
  • 1
    I would understand "which country do you come from?" as "which nation do you come from?". Maybe it's just me, and I'm not really sure about this, but "which countryside do you come from?" sounds unnatural to me. Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 8:26
  • No @CipherBot one meaning of country is the place outside cities and towns as in "his poetry celebrated the slower pace of life in the country". This is the reason, I'm not answering this question! :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 8:49
  • 2
    I think usually it's "the country" for the rural areas within a country. Of course you shouldn't say "which the country do you come from?". Perhaps, "what part of the country do you come from?"
    – user26236
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 11:17

2 Answers 2

11

How to distinguish?

The country, when it is used to mean any sparsely populated rural area far outside the bounds of a city, cannot be used with "which", because the countryside does not consist of discrete bounded areas but is rather a continuous swath of green. There may be small villages dotting the countryside, but the country and the countryside refer to an anonymous stretch of rurality.

So, if the question contains the word "which", it is almost a certainty that the question is asking about nationality.

Which country do you come from?
--England.

What area of Massachusetts do you come from?
--I'm from the western part of the state, out in the country.
Did you enjoy life in the countryside, or were you eager to get to a big city?

3

"Which" is used to ask or talk about the choice between two or more things. It means that the noun which follows it must be countable. " The country" meaning "the countryside " is an uncountable noun."Country " as "nation" is a countable noun. I think it's easy to make a choice.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .