At first glance, "come from", seems to be a very simple phrasal verb, but it actually has more than seven different uses! It is most often used to tell someone where you were born, or raised as a child, but this week let's look at a slightly different use of come from.
In the conversations below, come from is used with the meaning "belong to" or "be a part of".
1. come from (present tense)
i) David wants to go to college to study dance. Unfortunately, his family does not support this. David is talking to his friend, Nadia about the situation.
David: I can't understand why my parents won't let me study dance. It's the only thing I want to do.
Nadia: Have you told them that?
David: Sure. But they think it's a bad career choice. My mom is worried that I'll get injured before I'm thirty and have no other skills to earn a living.
Nadia: Well, you might not get injured. I think you're a great dancer. You might become a famous dancer in the future. Don't your parents see that?
David: Unfortunately, I come from a family of doctors and lawyers. They want me to study law, but it's so boring.
Nadia: Well, can't you study law and then study dance after that?
David: I don't know. I wouldn't have enough money.
Nadia: Well, keep talking to your parents. Maybe they'll change their minds.
David: I hope so.
ii) James and Pat are talking about an actor on TV.
James: Who is that guy? I've seen him in something else.
James: The guy on the left.
Pat: Oh, that's Jason Emerson.
James: Never heard of him.
Pat: Really? He's quite famous. He comes from an acting family. You probably know his sister, Mary Emerson.
James: Yeah. I know her. She's really good.
iii) Greg and Claire are collecting money for charity on the street. A woman stops to ask them about it.
Greg: Collecting money for children in East Africa. Please give generously.
Woman: Who are you collecting for?
Claire: We're collecting for a charity called Child Aid.
Woman: What does the charity do?
Claire: It provides study materials to children who come from poor communities.
Woman: I see. Can I give a monthly donation?
Greg: Of course. Please sign up here. On this form.
Claire: Thank you.
Woman: I'm glad I can help.
2. came from (past tense)
Justin is on a campus tour of a university. He is thinking of going to school there. He's asking his tour guide some questions.
Justin: So how many students are studying here?
Guide: Approximately 10,000 students. But the number is increasing every year.
Justin: Really? Wow. It's pretty big.
Guide: Yes, it is.
Justin: Do you have many African American students?
Guide: Yes, we do. Last year, 20% of our students came from the African American community.
If you found these conversations useful, check out my new book which contains over 450 original conversations like this plus over 200 exercises!