Is there any difference in meaning between these two sentences? Is it only a matter of style?

1. Where are you?

2. Where are you at?

  • I’d expect #1 to be asking about location, but you’ll need to supply more context to work out what #2 means.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 4:34
  • 2
    The at is grammatically unnecessary, but see idioms.thefreedictionary.com/where+it%27s+at Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 7:06
  • The answer to either could be, "I'm halfway through the fourth chapter," or "I've just finished the second round of trial tests." The answer could also be (more traditionally), "I'm at the office." In short, the at makes no essential difference. Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 16:28
  • Thank you for your comments! So this is how I understand now. Adding at is grammatically correct but not necessary. It makes no difference in the meaning. Where it’s at is an interesting idiom, which is new to me. Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 3:59
  • 1
    Does this answer your question? "Where are you now at?" — grammatically correct? Some dictionaries (mainly British) add the caveat 'informal' to at least one related pairing of 'where' and 'at'. Adding 'at' almost always signals a metaphorical usage. Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 14:40

1 Answer 1

  1. Where are you?

This construction usually refers to your physical location. It is grammatically correct.

  1. Where are you at?

This construction is likely to refer to how far through a particular task you are, such as reading a book, travelling somewhere, or thinking about a problem. This construction is a colloquial idiom, and is not correct in formal English. It would usually be tautological and grammatically incorrect to use the preposition "at" with the word "where" but this particular construction ("Where are you at?") has gained currency in informal communication.


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