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    #1

    where...

    Hi

    Would these two mean exactly the same? Is one of them preferred over the other?

    1. Where in America do you live? OR Whereabouts....
    2. Where do you live in America? OR Whereabouts....

    thanks


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    #2

    Re: where...

    They mean exactly the same and are probably used equally.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: where...

    1. Where in America do you live? OR Whereabouts....
    2. Where do you live in America? OR Whereabouts....


    If a speaker is asking for this information, it is to be more specific: it must have been previously established, that, "I'm from America."
    So:
    He: "Where do you live?"
    She: "I'm from America."
    He: "Oh? Whereabouts in America?"

    'where' is the general term for asking 'what place', and we would follow that up, asking for a more specific place/town/region by using 'whereabouts'.

    You might start off asking, "Whereabouts are you from?" if you lived in London, say, and you knew the other person was also a Londoner. You are asking, 'whereabouts in London are you from'.

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    #4

    Re: where...

    OK. Now I understand the difference between "where" and "whereabouts"

    However, are these two exactly the same as far as the meaning is concerned:

    1. Where in America do you live?
    2. Where do you live in America?

    thanks


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #5

    Re: where...

    1. Where in America do you live?
    2. Where do you live in America?

    are these two exactly the same as far as the meaning is concerned:

    It would be so easy to just say, yes, because at rock bottom, they do have the same meaning.

    So why the different phrasing? Why would a speaker say it one way or the other?

    Grammar books use sentences in isolation as examples, and learners acquire this habit of thinking of language as if it occurs in isolated sentences, rather than as one link in a chain of meaning that is being conveyed in a conversation or some piece of writing.

    Let's go back to the conversation I used in the earlier post:

    He: "Where do you live?"
    She: "I live in America."
    He: "Oh? Whereabouts in America do you live?"

    Firstly, note that I have used 'wherreabouts' because I am asking him to be more specific. In your sentence, "Where in America do you live?", you apparently know he is from America, and are asking him to be more specific, so my preference would be for 'whereabouts'

    Secondly, the meaning, the sense of the conversation, is asking about the place in America, not the action of 'living' there, so this is emphasized by the word order, placing 'in America' before, 'do you live?'

    Let's take this similar conversation:
    He: Where do you live?
    She: Right now, I'm living here in London, at Belgravia, but I'm from America.
    He: Oh, and where do you live in America?


    Here, her conversation has been about the action of 'living here in London', and so the other person responds to this, continues where the emphasis has been, and in effect asks, 'so you're living in Begravia now, but where do you live back in America'.

    He could easily have cut across this, and been more interested in the particular place in America ( because he might have visited there and have something in common, or it might be an interesting place to talk about), and so said:
    He: "Oh, whereabouts in America?"

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    #6

    Re: where...

    Additionally,

    Sam: So, where are you from?
    Pat: I'm from America.
    Sam: Where do you live in America?
    Pat: On the coast.
    Sam: Where (specifically) in America do you live?
    Pat: L.A.

    By topicalizing the phrase in America, that is, by moving it to the forefront, the speaker gives it primary focus; i.e., Where in America? = Where specifically?

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