Feeling a bit hesitant about all things ‘dónde vives’?
Just as in English there are a few different ways to answer, depending on what kind of information you wish to provide …
… but worry not because this list of ways to respond is sure to help dispel those lingering doubts!
‘¿Dónde vives?’ is most commonly answered in the following ways –
- Vivo en + un lugar = I live in + a place
- Vivo cerca de + un lugar = I live close to + a place
- Vivo por + un lugar = I live by + a place
You’ll also hear people begin their responses with a preposition (i.e., without the verb ‘vivo’) –
Cerca del Bosque de Chapultepec = Close to Bosque de Chapultepec
‘¿Dónde vives?’ meaning
‘¿Dónde vives?’ translates to ‘Where do you live?’ in English.
Let’s break it down real quick:
- ‘Dónde’ means ‘where’
- ‘Vives’ is the second person singular conjugation (‘tú’ = ‘you’) of the verb ‘vivir’ (‘to live’)
- All questions in Spanish require two question marks: ‘¿’ + question + ‘?’
A literal translation of ‘where do you live?’ would be ‘¿dónde vives tú?’ …
… but Spanish speakers normally omit the pronoun ‘tú’ because the conjugated verb ‘vives’ (did you spot that telltale ‘es’ ending?) already makes it clear exactly who they´re referring to.
Sarah – Discúlpame por llegar tan tarde, había mucho tráfico.
Gerardo – No te preocupes. ¿Dónde vives?
Sarah – Sorry for arriving so late, there was a lot of traffic.
Gerardo – Don’t worry. Where do you live?
Let´s get into the list!!
1 Vivo en – I live in / I live at / I live on
Here’s some good news: you can pretty much always reply to ‘¿dónde vives?’ with ‘vivo en’ … it’s basically the equivalent of ‘I live in’, ‘I live at’ AND ‘I live on’.
So, ‘vivo en’ can be followed by a country, a city, a specific address, or a type of building (yay!).
Vivo en San José, Costa Rica pero soy mexicana*.
I live in San José, Costa Rica but I’m Mexican.
Vivo en la esquina de avenida Insurgentes y Reforma.
I live on the corner of Insurgentes and Reforma.
Vivo en el quinto piso de un edificio.
I live on the fifth floor of a building.
*Erika’s note – if you want to learn some pretty neat responses to ‘de dónde eres’, be sure to give our article on the topic a quick once over!
2 Vivo cerca de / Muy cerca de – I live close to / Very close to
If you only wanna give a reference without providing an exact location, you can say ‘vivo cerca de’ (‘I live close to’), or ‘vivo muy cerca de’ (‘I live very close to’) followed by a recognizable or popular place (i.e., a monument, a building, a park, etc.).
Vivo muy cerca del Ángel de la Independencia.
I live very close to the Angel of Independence (a famous monument in Mexico City).
3 Vivo por – I live by
Similarly, you can answer with ‘vivo por’ (in this context ‘por’ means ‘by’) followed by a well-known place or monument.
Vivo por el Museo Nacional de las Artes.
I live by the National Museum of Arts.
4 A las afueras de / En las afueras – On the outskirts of
If you want to say that you live on the outskirts of a town or city, you can say either ‘vivo a las afueras de’ or ‘vivo en las afueras de’.
Both are correct and they can be used interchangeably!
Vivo a las afueras de Monterrey.
I live on the outskirts of Monterrey.
Joaquín vive en las afueras de la capital.
Joaquín lives on the outskirts of the capital.
5 En + tipo de vivienda – In + type of housing
Depending on context, the question ‘¿dónde vives?’ may be enquiring as to the type of housing you live in.
In these instances, you can answer with ‘vivo en’ … or just a simple ‘en’ followed by one of the following options:
- En un departamento – In an apartment / In a flat
- En una casa – In a house
- En una casa flotante – On a houseboat
- En un condominio – In a condo
6 Tienes tu casa en – You have a (second) home on / in
This one can be very confusing the first time you hear it, but it’s a very common expression in Mexico.
Maybe you´ve heard the saying ‘mi casa es tu casa’ …
… well, this popular phrase meaning ‘my house is your house’ is so deeply embedded in Mexican culture that Mexicans sometimes respond to ‘¿dónde vives?’ with a ‘tienes tu casa en’ (‘you have a (second) home on / in’).
The implication being that their house is yours too (i.e., you´d be very welcome to come visit)!!
Andrew – ¡Gracias por invitarme a la fiesta! ¿Dónde vives?
Felipe – Tienes tu casa en avenida Tlalpan, número veintitrés.
Andrew – Thanks for inviting me to the party! Where do you live?
Felipe – You have a (second) home on Tlalpan Avenue, number twenty-three.
And there you have it! Pretty much all the info you need to sound like a true native when responding to ‘¿dónde vives?’.
Keep this list at hand and give a couple of them a try the next time you´re chatting to your Spanish-speaking friends!
And if you wanna keep improving your conversational skills, definitely head on over to our list of all the different ways to reply to ‘hola’!