When I heard,

"I can see where you're coming from?"

in the first time, I thought that they were saying something about my place of origin.

But now I think it means,

"I can understand your point of view."

Is it the meaning of this American expression?

  • 1
    Googled "I can see where you're coming from" and clicked on the second link: dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/…
    – Azami
    May 31, 2016 at 10:02
  • 1
    Metaphorically, your point of view is governed by your where you are, your vantage point, so you might find it easier to grasp the idiom by considering, say, I understand your position [on the subject under discussion] (i.e. how you relate to it, spatially / figuratively). It's quite natural to say I approach this question from the position of a native speaker (i.e. - that's where I'm "coming from"). Note that there's also I can see where you're going with this, which is often effectively equivalent. May 31, 2016 at 14:30
  • 1
    ...and I don't support his line on this (i.e. - the direction of his argument). May 31, 2016 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


If you see where a person is coming from, you understand why a person has a particular point of view even though you do not share it.

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