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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    "The country where I came from" vs. "The country which I came from"

    1. This is the country where I came from.

    2. This is the country from which I came.

    3. This is the country which I came from.


    The first sentence is acceptable, and is frequently used, right?

    How about the second and the third one? In principle, I don't see any reasons why they can't be used, but the third one sounds a bit awkward.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "The country where I came from" vs. "The country which I came from"

    #1 is unnatural/incorrect.
    #2 is formal.
    #3 is OK
    This is the country that I came from is fine.
    This is the country I came from is very natural.

    I assume the speaker is pointing to a country on a map while uttering these words.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 22-Feb-2017 at 09:40.

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    #3

    Re: "The country where I came from" vs. "The country which I came from"

    Thank you very much for the reply.

    When I googled, I came across a song by Mike Edel, "The Country where I Came From."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zUXvQN0qvw

    Should I take it as a kind of poetic expression?

  4. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "The country where I came from" vs. "The country which I came from"

    In olden times, "from" wasn't needed:

    6. This is the country whence I came.

    Many now consider "whence" archaic.

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    #5

    Re: "The country where I came from" vs. "The country which I came from"

    This word "where" really confuses me, especially when it is used with "from"!

    1. Don't judge a person based on where he lives.
    2. Don't judge a person based on the place where he lives.

    3. Don't judge a person based on where he came from.
    4. Don't judge a person based on the place where he came from.

    Are all 4 sentences acceptable, or is #4 not correct?
    If #1,2,and 3 are acceptable, it seems to me that #4 should be fine, too.

    I guess all this confusion comes from the fact that "where" is sometimes used as a pronoun.
    (e.g. Where did you come from?)

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    #6

    Re: "The country where I came from" vs. "The country which I came from"

    Quote Originally Posted by bottomup44 View Post
    This word "where" really confuses me, especially when it is used with "from"!

    1. Don't judge a person based on where he lives.
    2. Don't judge a person based on the place where he lives.

    3. Don't judge a person based on where he came from.
    4. Don't judge a person based on the place where he came from.

    Are all 4 sentences acceptable, or is #4 not correct? If #1,2,and 3 are acceptable, it seems to me that #4 should be fine, too.

    I guess all this confusion comes from the fact that "where" is sometimes used as a pronoun. (e.g. Where did you come from?)
    They all seem fine to me, though [1] and [3] are perhaps preferable since they are more succinct. The grammar is slightly different: in [1] and [3] the word "where" is a "fused" relative word whose meaning can be glossed as "the place where", so they boil down to the same thing anyway, and hence it's a free choice.

    The verb "come" normally requires a complement in the form of a locative/source preposition phrase like "from x", as in [3] and [4] though the preposition and its complement have been separated here with the preposition "from" being stranded at the end of the sentence, while its complement "where" has been fronted, which is perfectly normal. We understand that "he came from some place". An alternative would be the much more formal "from where he came".
    Last edited by PaulMatthews; 22-Feb-2017 at 17:10.

  7. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "The country where I came from" vs. "The country which I came from"

    This word "where" really confuses me, especially when it is used with "from"!
    Occasionally, in elliptical questions, "where" is used only with "from":

    A: He came here yesterday.
    B: Where from? (= Where did he come here from?)

    A: She will be driving there today.
    B: Where from? (= Where will she be driving there from?)

    Compare: "What for?" (= What did he come here for? / What will she be driving there for?)

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