Asking where in German — Woher, wo, wohin

Visit almost any German speaking country and one of the questions you’re sure to be asked within the first few minutes of meeting someone is: “Woher kommen Sie?” (Where do you come from?) It’s not meant to be a rude question, but one of interest. People really want to know where you are from, in case they have been there before. But also because they want to know of all the other places in the world you could be, why you’re in their city/town/village/mountain restaurant etc.

German has not one, not two, but three words for expressing where. These three words express different situations for which we use where. The three words are: woher (where from), wo (where), wohin (where to).

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  1. Christi · · Reply

    Thank you for this enlightening article!

  2. What about this sentence, “Wohin hast du die Schlüssel gelegt?”

    1. Hallo Aaron, ganz gewiss – das kann man schon fragen.

  3. Thanks a lot! 😀

  4. Thank you so much!

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