| Where are you from? Where were you born?
A. When you first meet someone new, it is common in American culture to ask people where they are from. There are different grammatical ways to do this.
1. Use a form of the verb be (I am, he/she/it is, you/we/they are) and the preposition from:
Where are you from? I am from the United States.
Where is Maria from? She is from Colombia.
Where is Hai from? He is from Vietnam.
Where are Olga and Jose from? They are from Mexico.
2. Use the passive past tense I/he/she was born or you/we/they were born and the preposition in:
Where were you born? I was born in Korea.
Where was Mayleen born? She was born in Puerto Rico.
Where was Lama Trinley born? He was born in Tibet.
Where were Diane and Larry born? They were born in the United States.
B. When you write, put a comma between the city, state, and country.
I was born in Mexico. I was born in Sinaloa, Mexico. I was born in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
I am from Mexico. I am from Sinaloa, Mexico. I am from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico.
My husband was born in El Salvador. He was born in San Salvador, El Salvador.
My husband is from El Salvador. He is from San Salvador, El Salvador.
My children were born in the United States. They were born in Dallas, Texas.
My children are from the United States. They are from Dallas, Texas.
C. Sometimes a person is born in one place, but moves to another place when she or he is very young and then spends her or his childhood years there. In this case, you can use the past tense phrasal verb grew up.
I was born in Brazil but I grew up in California.
She was born in the United States but she grew up in Thailand.
They were born in New York but they grew up in Phoenix.
D. When people meet for the first time, they might ask each other where they live. It is common to answer by giving the name of the city you live in. If the city is in a different state (not Arizona), it is common to give the state also.
Be careful to use the correct form: I/you/they/we live or he/she/it lives
I live in Avondale. My parents live in Goodyear.
My brother lives in Phoenix. My sister lives in Sherwood, Oregon.
Write a variety of sentences. Write where you, people in your family, or your friends were born/are from and where they live now.