Discover the French sentence "D'où viens-tu"

We are going to explain you everything you ever wanted to know about the basic sentence “D’où viens-tu”.

It includes a full definition of what it is and how you can use it in a casual conversation with an audio example. And because we want you to learn efficiently, we also sprinkled some useful informations like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Oh and if you are interested, you can find more sentences guides like this one on this page and the directory of all our French words pages on this page. C’est parti ! (Let’s go!)

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French to English

Audio pronunciation

Slow pronunciation

Normal pronunciation

What does d'où viens-tu ? mean?

Definition

The literal meaning is:

  • D’où → From where
  • Viens tu ? → Are you from?

This is the classic and neutral way to ask someone: “Where are you from?” in French, but you can also use “Tu viens d’où ?“.

The informal version is “T’es d’où ?” and the formal version is “Vous êtes d’où ?” (this version also works when talking to a group of people).

How to use it

If someone asks you: “D’où viens-tu ?” you can answer with “Je viens du Brésil, et toi ?” (I’m from Brazil, and you?)

Or you can simply start by asking: “Tu viens d’où ?“.

Note that the precise meaning can depend on context. If French people meet each other, this question means “Which city/region are you from in France?” but when one of the people isn’t French it will mean “Which country are you from?“.

Plus, this question can sometimes be painful when you are born somewhere, but grew up somewhere else and are even currently living somewhere else…

In this case, you have to decide which one represents you the most. And if you don’t know, you can always say: “Je suis un citoyen du monde !” (I’m a citizen of the world!)

Fun stuff

The informal version “T’es d’où ?” sounds exactly like “T’es doux ?” which means “Are you sweet/gentle?“. So don’t be surprised if sometimes French people are having fun, answering you “Oui” with a smile.

Synonyms

  • Tu viens d’où ? (“Where are you from“)(Neutral)
  • T’es d’où ? (“Where are you from“)(Informal)
  • Vous venez d’où ? (“Where are you from“)(Formal)
  • Vous êtes d’où ? (“Where are you from“)(Formal)

Example in a story with translation

Now, let’s see a complete example of this idiom in a story with slow French audio and the English translation below.
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La nouvelle collègue
The new colleague
___
Marc:   Bonjour ! Je m’appelle Marc.
Hello! My name is Marc.
Nina:   Bonjour ! Je m’appelle Nina. Ravi de te rencontrer Marc.
Hello! My name is Nina. Nice to meet you Marc.
Marc:   Ravi de te rencontrer aussi. Tu es une nouvelle employée ?
Nice to meet you too. Are you a new employee?
Nina:   Oui, j’ai commencé à travailler ici hier.
Yes, I started working here yesterday.
Marc:   Je vois. D’où viens-tu ?
I see. Where do you come from?
Nina:   Je viens du Royaume-Uni. Je suis venue ici pour un stage.
I’m from the United Kingdom. I came here for an internship.
Marc:   Oh vraiment ? De quelle ville viens-tu ?
Oh really? Which city are you from?
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