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I saw one of my friends used "你是哪个人" to ask where you are from in China. I thought it is the valid expression to date.

However, I just used it to a Chinese people and she didn't understand it. So I wonder whether it is a correct way to ask where she is from in China.

My question:

  • Is 你是哪个人 the valid sentence?

  • If it is not, what is the correct way of asking "Where are you from (in China)?"? I know 你是哪国人 is what you use to ask where she is from, country-wise. Maybe 你是哪里人 is close to it but is it correct? Otherwise what is the best way to ask where a person is from within a country, without a chance of getting an answer as "中国"?

  • bkrs:籍贯 one’s native place place of ancestry registered birthplace iciba: Where is your native place? 你的籍贯是什么地方? What province does he hail from? 他的籍贯是哪个省? w/o using 籍贯:你是(在)哪个地区(地域,地带,region, 省份province)出生 (的) were born,长大(的) grow up – user6065 Dec 17 '17 at 1:18
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No, "你是哪个人" doesn't make much sense here. It translates into "Which one you are?".

Instead, you shall say "你是哪里人" as you have put.

If you are looking at the picture and you cannot recognize which one is your friend. You will probably ask "哪个人是你" literally means "Which one (in the picture) is you?"

  • Does 你是哪里人 only focus on the "within-country"? I wonder if I ask 你是哪里人 and get 中国人... – Blaszard Dec 17 '17 at 0:38
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    Correct. 你是哪里人 expects that you are Chinese already. If Chinese thought you are foreigners. They will probably call you 外国人or 歪果仁(fun way) and ask 你是哪国人 or 你是哪个国家的? – moiaussi06 Dec 17 '17 at 0:49
  • Imho, 你是哪里人 does NOT only focus on the "within-country". It translate as "Where are you from?". – wilson Jan 5 '18 at 7:01
  • The original question asks if 你是哪个人 is a valid expression to describe "Where are you from China?" So I suggest "你是哪里人." – moiaussi06 Jan 12 '18 at 18:45
  • Furtherly from native speaker perspective, I don't think "你是哪里人" is equivalent to "Where are you from?". 里 in 哪里 indicates within literally. So it infers a geo-boundary already. – moiaussi06 Jan 12 '18 at 18:48
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Native speaker here.

Is 你是哪个人 the valid sentence?

Grammatically, yes, but it doesn't make much sense, as the other answer says. It can be used, however, casually when you start talking over the phone with someone you don't recognize. Formally used as 你是哪位 or "Who am I speaking with", etc.

If it is not, what is the correct way of asking "Where are you from (in China)?"?

"你是哪里人" is absolutely correct and commonly used. Variants including "你是哪里的", "你是哪儿的" sounds more natural and less formal.

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First of all, "你是哪个人" is a wrong sentence in any way, not a valid sentence.

If you want to ask people come from which city or province, you can ask

  • 你是哪里人?Where you come from?, People will answer country/province/city depends on what he/she wants to answer.
  • 你来自中国哪里?Where you come from in China?, People will answer province/city depends on what he/she wants to answer.
  • 你来自哪个省?Which province you come from?, People will only answer province.
  • 你来自哪个城市?Which city you come from?, People will only answer city.

You can make the sentence: Subject+是+哪里/哪国/哪个省/哪个城市+(with or without“的”)+人?Subject+来自+“country/province/city”+哪里?

All the question above for asking people‘s born location or Where they grow up or even Where they admit.

  • My first impression to "你是哪个人?" is, which one are you (in the photo)? The questioner was having a hard time to tell among a large number of people :-) – SkyOasis Dec 17 '17 at 9:58
  • For asking which one are you in the picture, you should ask "哪个人是你?",is like you should ask in English "which one are you" not "which person are you? " – Dongrui Yang Dec 18 '17 at 2:29
  • Thanks for the answer and welcome to Chinese Language SE! Hope you keep contributing to this SE. Does 你是哪里人 have the chance of being treated as "country-wise" question? This does not align with the comment by @moiaussi06 in another answer... – Blaszard Dec 18 '17 at 22:43
  • Thanks for you Welcome message. If you want 你是哪里人 treated as “country-wise” question, only when you have "background conversation" when talking about country, otherwise people may answer "country/province/city" as they want how detail answer you. – Dongrui Yang Jan 5 '18 at 11:28

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