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I am a new student. In my German textbook, the authors use the verb wohnen when used in sentences when asking where you are from while in the books and documents I got from Germany the verb kommen is used. What do you as native speaker consider being the norm and most correct?

Woher kommst du?
Wo kommst du her?

vs.

Wo wohnst du?

For me it feels more natural to use kommen, for example:

Ich komme aus Schweden

rather than

Ich wohne in Stockholm, Stockholm liegt in Schweden.

or

Ich wohne in Stockholm, in Schweden.

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    Beispiele aus dem Textbuch wären schön, denn die Aussage klingt nicht plausibel. Woher man kommt und wo man wohnt sind zwei unterschiedliche Fragen. – user unknown Sep 8 '16 at 10:35
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Woher kommst du?

This is the variant of "where do you come from?" most often used in "official" German (such as newspapers or in television).

Wo kommst du her?

This variant is often used in everyday German.

Wo wohnst du?

This means: "Where do you live?"

In your case the answer to Woher kommst du? would typically be the country or the city where you originally came from.

The answer to Wo wohnst du? would be the city or building where you currently live (for example the city where your apartment is).

Depending on the context the person asking you Wo wohnst du? just wants to hear "in an apartment" or "in the hotel" or a similar statement.

On the other hand depending on the context the answer to the question Woher kommst du? may also be "I come from shopping"...

  • Vielen Dank. You were first and you got the point/s. – Eva Sep 7 '16 at 11:35
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    @Eva Please consider to mark this answer as "accepted", if it answers your question. – Arsak Sep 7 '16 at 20:51
1

It depends on what you want to say.

The phrase

Wo wohnst du?

could be interpreted as 'So. Where is your place (in the city)?'. You look more curious. It's a directer, straight forward question. It can be good (a friend is asking) or not so good (Cop is asking).

Wo kommst du her?

Can be used online, in a direct talk and is more polite.

  • Martin Rosenau picked up what I wanted to say. – Eva Sep 7 '16 at 12:32
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The two verbs have a different nuance to them.

Woher kommst du?

The verb kommen (and the related herkommen as in ‘Wo kommst du her?’) are asking for your origin. They do not necessarily ask for where you are living at the moment. The typical answer would be a region or a country, but cities might be given as well.

Wo wohnst du?

The verb wohnen explicitly asks for your current residential address and nothing else. The precision of your answer is typically indirectly proportional to the distance to said address.

Example showing the duality:

Wo wohnst du?

Ich wohne in Braunschweig, aber ich komme aus Bayern.

Note: Many people may feel offended if you ask them ‘woher kommst du?’, at first meeting. Typically those that look oriental, Asian or African — remember that there is a slight implication of ‘this place here isn’t where you were born, is it?’

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