Do you want to know where your German-speaking friends and colleagues come from? Talking about where you come from is a great way to get to know somebody new. It'll even help you discover more about different cultures and places.

Here we'll introduce you to different ways to learn where someone is from and to talk about your own origins in German. Have a look at the tables below and get ready for the next time you meet a German speaker!

Asking Someone Where They Come From

The questions we've collected for you here are essential when you want to know where someone is from. Have a look and try them out the next time you meet somebody new.
   
 
   
 
Woher bist du?
 
Where are you from?
 
Woher kommst du?
 
Where do you come from?
 
Wo wohnst du?
 
Where do you live?
 
Lebst du gerne in Kanada?
 
Do you like living in Canada?
 
Wie lange lebst du schon in Amerika?
 
How long have you lived in America?
 
Wie lange bist du schon Schottland?
 
How long have you been Scotland?
 
Welche Staatsangehörigkeit hast du?
 
What nationality are you?
 
Was ist deine Heimatstadt?
 
What is your hometown?
 
Wo bist du aufgewachsen?
 
Where did you grow up?
 
Wo wurdest du geboren?
 
Where were you born?
 
Wo liegt Austin, Texas?
 
Where is Austin, Texas?
 
Bist du aus England?
 
Are you from England?
 
Welche Sprachen sprichst du?
 
What languages do you speak?
 
Was ist deine Erstsprache?
 
What is your first language?
 
 
Woher bist du?
Using this question or the question Woher kommst du? are the most common ways to find out where somebody is from. There's a lot of different ways someone could respond to this question. They could say the country, city, or even region they are from. For example: Ich bin aus Japan.
Wo wohnst du?
Use this question to find out where someone's current home is. Again there are many different ways to respond to this question. You might say the country, town, street, or even the building that you are living in. Here is an example response: Ich wohne in New York City in der 5th Street.
Was ist deine Heimatstadt?
Your Heimatstadt could be several different things. Usually it is the town you were born and raised in, but it could also be the town where your family lives, where you went to school, or really any place that you'd call home. A response to this question might look something like this: Meine Heimatstadt ist Seattle, Washington.
Was ist deine Erstsprache?
Ask this question to find out what language somebody grew up speaking. You could ask the same thing by using the questions: Was ist deine Muttersprache? or Was ist deine Heimatsprache?. Answering these questions is simple! Just state the first language you grew up speaking, like this: Meine Erstsprache ist Deutsch.

Telling Someone Where You Are From

Just as you might be curious about where somebody is from, others will want to get to know more about you! Don't worry! The phrases below will help you talk about where you are from so that others can get know you better.
   
 
   
 
Ich komme aus Kanada.
 
I'm from Canada.
 
Ich komme aus einer kleinen Stadt.
 
I come from a small town.
 
Ich lebe in Deutschland.
 
I live in Germany.
 
Ich lebe seit zwei Jahren hier.
 
I've been living here for two years.
 
Ich bin Deutscher.
 
I'm German.
 
Meine Heimatstadt ist in den Vereinigten Staaten.
 
My hometown is in the United States.
 
Ich bin in Großbritannien aufgewachsen.
 
I grew up in the UK.
 
Ich bin in China geboren.
 
I was born in China.
 
 
Ich komme aus Kanada
Use the sentence pattern Ich komme aus + ORT. to tell someone where you are from. Here is an example of this: Ich komme aus Japan. After telling someone where you are from, it's a good idea to ask where they are from: Woher kommst du?.
Ich lebe in Deutschland
The easiest way to tell somebody where you live is to use the sentence pattern: Ich lebe in + ORT. For example: Ich lebe mit meiner Freundin in Berlin. Someone might respond to a sentence like this by saying: Lebst du gerne dort?.
Ich lebe seit zwei Jahren hier
Use the sentence pattern Ich lebe seit + ZEITSPANNE + hier to tell someone how long you have lived somewhere. Here is another example: Ich lebe seit einem Jahr in der Stadt. There are different ways somebody could respond to sentences like this. For example, a response to Ich lebe seit zwei Jahren hier could be Gefällt es dir hier?.
Ich bin in Großbritannien aufgewachsen
To tell someone where you grew up, use the sentence pattern Ich bin in + ORT + aufgewachsen.. For example: Ich bin in Irland aufgewachsen. Someone could respond to this is by asking: Wie war es dort?.
Ich bin in China geboren
The sentence pattern Ich bin in + ORT + geboren. can be used to tell someone where you were born. Here is another example of this: Ich wurde in einer Stadt in der Nähe von Shanghai geboren. Somebody could respond to a sentence like this by asking a question like: Wann bist du hierher gezogen?.

Answers to the Most Common Questions

What are the most important German phrases I should know for talking about where people are from?
  • Woher bist du?
    Where are you from?
  • Woher kommst du?
    Where do you come from?
  • Ich komme aus Kanada.
    I'm from Canada.
  • Ich lebe in Deutschland.
    I live in Germany.
  • Wo wohnst du?
    Where do you live?
  • Was ist deine Heimatstadt?
    What is your hometown?
  • Ich lebe seit zwei Jahren hier.
    I've been living here for two years.
  • Ich bin in Großbritannien aufgewachsen.
    I grew up in the UK.

Show All Phrases
How do I tell someone where I am from?
Use the sentence pattern Ich komme aus + ORT. to tell someone where you are from.
  • Ich komme aus Kanada. (I'm from Canada.)
  • Ich komme aus China. (I'm from China.)
  • Ich komme aus Deutschland. (I'm from Germany.)

Show All Phrases
How do I tell someone where I live?
Use the sentence pattern Ich lebe in + ORT to tell someone where you currently live.
  • Ich lebe in Deutschland. (I live in Germany.)
  • Ich lebe in Berlin. (I live in Berlin.)
  • Ich lebe in München. (I live in Munich.)

Show All Phrases
How do I tell someone how long I've been living somewhere?
To state the amount of time that you've spent living in one place, use the sentence pattern Ich lebe seit + ZEITSPANNE + hier.
  • Ich lebe seit zwei Jahren hier. (I've been living here for two years.)
  • Ich lebe seit letztem Winter hier. (I've been living here for three months.)
  • Ich lebe seit Jahren hier. (I've been living here for years.)

Show All Phrases
How do I tell someone where I grew up?
To tell someone where you grew up, use the sentence pattern Ich bin in + ORT + aufgewachsen..
  • Ich bin in Großbritannien aufgewachsen. (I grew up in the UK.)
  • Ich bin in Spanien aufgewachsen. (I grew up in Spain.)
  • Ich bin in Thailand aufgewachsen. (I grew up in Thailand.)

Show All Phrases
How do I tell somebody where I was born?
The sentence pattern Ich bin in + ORT + geboren. can be used to tell someone where you were born.
  • Ich bin in China geboren. (I was born in China.)
  • Ich bin in Österreich geboren. (I was born in Austria.)
  • Ich bin in Mexiko geboren. (I was born in Mexico.)

Show All Phrases
How do I ask someone where they are from?
Woher bist du?

Using this question or the question Woher kommst du? are the most common ways to find out where somebody is from. There's a lot of different ways someone could respond to this question. They could say the country, city, or even region they are from. For example: Ich bin aus Japan.
What does the word Heimatstadt mean?
Your Heimatstadt could be several different things. Usually it is the town you were born and raised in, but it could also be the town where your family lives, where you went to school, or really any place that you'd call home. A response to this question might look something like this: Meine Heimatstadt ist Seattle, Washington.

Downloads