The difference between SONO DI and VENGO DA

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Apart from the indication of your nationality, there are two possibilities in Italian to tell where you are from: 1) Sono di or 2) Vengo da. What’s the difference between sono di and vengo da? Let’s learn the rule!

The difference between SONO DI and VENGO DA

To tell or ask about your origin, there are two expressions: essere di to be from and venire da to come from. These expressions are pretty similar in the meaning, but they are different in the use, since essere di can be only followed by your home town, but not by your home country. Let’s take a closer look at these two expressions:

1. ESSERE DI + HOME TOWN

Di dove sei?
Sono di Parigi.

As mentioned above, the expression essere di can be only followed by your home town, but not your home country. You can also answer this question simply with your nationality.

Di dove sei?Where are you from?
Sono francese.I’m French.
Sono di Parigi.I’m from Paris.
Sono francese, di Parigi.I’m French, from Paris.
Sono di Francia.I’m from France.

2. VENIRE DA + HOME COUNTRY OR TOWN

Da dove vieni?
Vengo dalla Francia.
Vengo da Parigi.

The expression venire da can be used both for saying your home city and your home country, without restrictions. Also in this case you can always just answer with your nationality.

Da dove vieni?Where do you come from?
Sono francese.I’m French.
Vengo dalla Francia.I come from France.
Vengo da Parigi.I come from Paris.

Note that for your home country you have to combine the preposition with the definite article (see articulated prepositions):
da + la Francia = dalla Francia
da + l’Italia = dall’Italia

Learn the names of countries and their articles with our vocabulary list countries, languages and nationalities.

Di dove sei? Da dove vieni?

As for the question, there is practically no difference between asking Di dove sei? or Da dove vieni? Normally, one answers using the same expression.
Da dove vieni? – Sono francese | Vengo dalla Francia | Vengo da Parigi.
Di dove sei? – Sono francese | Sono di Parigi.

To sum up:
– if you want to inform your conversation partner about your home country, you’ll tell your nationality or you’ll use the expression vengo da.
– If you want to inform about your home city, you can both use sono di or vengo da.
Both don’t mix up the prepositions!

Wanna learn how to introduce yourself in Italian? Read our lesson Introduce yourself.

Esercizio

1. Di o da?

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