In part one of your IELTS Speaking test, you’ll sometimes be asked, “Where are you from?”
Let’s look at how to answer this question really well, with 20 example answers (go straight to the answers here).
Hometown vs Where You Live Now
Watch out for this common mistake when answering this question. If someone asks where you’re from, it’s a different question than “Where do you live?”
Asking where you’re from means where you came from; where you were born; your hometown.
Asking where you live means where you live now; your current city.
So if you’ve moved away from your hometown, be careful that you don’t confuse these two questions.
When asked where you’re from, just talk about your hometown. But you can also mention where you live now in your answer if you like.
Keep It Very Short
When the examiner asks this simple and straightforward question, they don’t want to hear a big, long description of your hometown.
Just answer simply with one, or perhaps two, short sentences.
When you finish saying where you’re from, they might ask you more questions about your hometown. Then you’ll have a chance to say more.
What You Can Say
Just say the city or town you’re from. Then you might add a short sentence to say:
- Where that city or town is
- What kind of city or town it is (capital city, third largest city, coastal town, small village, rural city…)
- Where you live now (if you’ve moved away)
But it’s okay to add nothing. Remember, this is not a question that requires a long answer.
Grammar Tip: Use ‘Which’ To Add More Details
A nice way to add a few simple details is by using the word ‘which.’ For example:
“I’m from Na Trang, which is a beautiful coastal city in the middle of Vietnam.”
“I’m from Gyor, which is a little-known town in the northeast of Hungary.”
If you’re adding just one detail, you can leave out ‘which,’ for example:
“I’m from Brazilia, the capital of Brazil.”
“I’m from Samarkand, the second largest city in Uzbekistan.”
Vocabulary Tip: Use ‘Originally From’
If you’ve moved away from your hometown, you can use the word ‘originally’ to emphasize that you’re talking about the place where you were born, not where you live now. For example:
“I’m originally from Hunan, a province in southwest China. Now I live in Beijing.”
“I’m originally from a small village in the south of France called Villefranche-Sur-Mer. But now I live in Paris.”
You can also say ‘I was born in…’ or ‘I grew up in…’
Let’s take a look at some good example answers.
1. I’m from Hanoi, the second largest city in Vietnam.
2. I’m originally from a small rural village called Tomsk, in Russia. But now I live in St Petersburg.
3. I grew up in Mumbai, which is a very big city in western India.
4. I was born in Nairobi, which is the capital of Kenya.
5. I’m originally from Egypt. My hometown is called Luxor, a very historic city. Now I live in Manila in the Philippines.
6. I’m from Makassar, which is a beautiful city in the south of Indonesia.
7. My hometown is a medium-sized city named Vinh, in the middle of Vietnam. But now I live in Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s capital.
8. I’m from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
9. I’m originally from Munich, a city in the south of Germany famous for its beer festivals. Now I live in London.
10. I grew up in a very cold town in the north of Norway called Tromso. But three years ago I moved to Oslo, which is the capital.
11. I’m from Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
12. I was born in Karakanda, a city in the middle of Kazakhstan. But now I live in Moscow, Russia.
13. I’m originally from Nukus, Uzbekistan. But I’ve moved around a lot since then and now I live in Madrid, in Spain.
14. I’m from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
15. I come from Patna, which is a decent-sized city in the east of India.
16. I grew up in a small agricultural village in the north of China, named Tomortei.
17. I was born in Chicago, USA, but when I was very young, my family moved to Naples, Italy, where I grew up.
18. My hometown is Santiago, which is the largest city in Chile.
19. I’m originally from Osaka, a very peaceful city in Japan. Now I live in Tokyo, a huge metropolis and the country’s capital.
20. I’m from Palma Sola, a touristy coastal town in Mexico.
Your Turn To Answer
Now try to answer this question yourself.
Use the same type of sentence structure as the examples above.
Remember to keep it simple; don’t try to say too much.
It’s always best to record yourself, so turn on your voice recorder and ask aloud, “Where are you from?”
Practice answering as quickly and fluently as possible.
This is a great way to prepare for this kind of simple question in part one of your IELTS Speaking test.