If someone is asking me about my nationality what is the correct answer?

Question: Where are you from?

  1. I am from...

  2. I come from...

  • 2
    Neither is incorrect, but I think the first one sounds more natural, and I would guess it's more common as well.
    – J.R.
    Jul 21, 2013 at 20:40
  • 1
    J.R. Yes, and in natural conversation the question and answer will normally be contracted: Where're you from? (which often will sound almost identical to Where you from?). Answer: I'm from ... .
    – Shoe
    Jul 22, 2013 at 7:03
  • Note that while the first is more common, the second is used and would not seem puzzling or awkward.
    – Jay
    Jul 22, 2013 at 13:57

6 Answers 6


It depends on the question we are answering. Number 1 would be correct in the usual case, when someone asks, "Where are you from?" In that case, we would reply, "I'm from Iran," for example. However, if the person asked us, "Where did you come from?" it may be more natural to answer, "I come from Iran."

  • +1 I think this is exactly right, and I don't understand the downvote. Jul 22, 2013 at 13:09
  • 1
    I get it when a person asked "Where are you from?" and you answer "I'm from Iran." but why "Where did you come from?" be answered by "I come from Iran." rather than "I came from Iran."?
    – holydragon
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:56

For sure the first one is better. "I am from Kish" is a correct answer for the question of "Where are you from?".


I think "I am from" is referring to your origin (that doesn't change) ex: "I am from England" (= "I was born in England"). (A reminder: think about your name ex: "I am Chloé, nice to meet you")

In parallel, "I come from" is more referring to a present situation ex: "I come from France". These two expressions in a same sentence you'd be something like

"Hi! My name is Chloé, I am from England but now I'm visiting Europe. I've visited Portugal and Spain, and now I am landing in Belgium. I come from France , I took the airplane in Paris."

In this example, the person says to be born in England, and to arrive from France.

A way to remember this would be thinking about "I come from" : Think about come and go! (You COME from somewhere, to GO somewhere else. Think about traveling, it may help).

COME and GO --> situation can change
Are --> Never changes

I think this is correct, from my logic it makes sense, but I'm not 100% sure.

  • You "think" ? StackExchange works much better with verifiable answers. Also, this answer adds nothing to the existing answers.
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 28, 2020 at 16:57

I like the Are and Do distinction. "Are" is more solid, an origin and denotes a particular place. "Were Do" or "Do", is usually used as a verb and denotes action, so it may not be a place of origin. When people ask the question, "where are you from?" They usually want to know your place of origin on Earth. This entire discussion is arbitrary and fraught with opinion. Pick what you like.


If someone is in another country such as a tourist, says "I am from Kurdistan". if someone moves to another country and starting to live there, says "I come from Kurdistan"

  • I'm not sure what distinction you're trying to draw here. For me (native speaker of British English), the phrases "I am from Kurdistan" and "I come from Kurdistan" seem to be interchangeable and either could be used by somebody who was just visiting another country or moving there to live. Could you give a definition of how you think they're different, rather than just giving an example? May 16, 2015 at 13:10

First of all you shouldn't ask this way "Where do you come from?" grammatically wrong, "do" is already your VERB and "come" is also a VERB so it's kind of dangling. It's better to ask "Where are you from?" and the answer depends on the situation. For instance, I'm a Filipino and I went to Thailand. If someone asked me "Where are you from?" I would say, "I come from the Philippines." because I was in the Philippines and I moved to another country. If I replied to the person "Where are you from?" he would say "I am from Thailand." because he doesn't come from anywhere else.

  • "Where do you come from?" is informal, but it isn't grammatically incorrect. The answer to the question isn't different if you were born other than where your current home is. You could say "I'm from Thailand, but I'm originally from the Philippines." I answer that question "My family is from West Virginia, but I've lived many places."
    – ColleenV
    Oct 17, 2014 at 17:34
  • "Where are you from? = Where do you come from?" .. I'm not sure about it being informal. I hear it mostly in British English ESL courses. Does that mean it's UK English? Brits should chime in.
    – learner
    Oct 17, 2014 at 19:50

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