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I'm having trouble with Xからきた as a modifier...

I have heard people say 住んでいるのはどこ? or something like that in order to say like, "where are you living?"... but what if someone wanted to say どこから来た? in this manner? Like... "The country I came from is called Australia".

I can't say から来た国はオーストラリアという because you can't have から just sitting there like that... and you can't say 私が来た国はオーストラリアだ because you can't tell whether I'm saying I came from there or came to here (isolated from context).

Is there a way to fit から in there?

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i saw you post this on reddit! –  ogicu8abruok Nov 15 '13 at 18:29
    
Haha... Ohh.... this is awkward... I swear it isn't what it looks like!!!!! –  Nathan Nov 16 '13 at 0:47
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lol why, what does it look like? i don't get it -_- are you afraid it looks like you're betraying reddit? it's ok this place is cooler anyway –  ogicu8abruok Nov 16 '13 at 3:59
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you want to say "the country I came from" you're stuck saying 出身. Grammatically it feels odd that you can't use から how you want to in noun modification, but it's just... not said that way. I think that's why we have the word 出身 in regular use to begin with: it means "where someone comes from." Since the construction can't be made using から, the question will always use 出身 as well, so there's not really any conflict.

あなたはどこから来ましたか?
アメリカから来ました。

Unfortunately there's no good way to make the country the subject, so we have to use 出身 in its place:

あなたはどこの(国の)出身ですか?
アメリカ出身です。

Semantically I think this has the same meaning as the "来た国" idea you were trying to go for. You could also say 私の母国はアメリカ or something like that but you're still using a noun to replace that awkward grammar.

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Thanks man! It's weird to think of Japanese people not being able to make a construction despite having all the components... –  Nathan Nov 14 '13 at 12:04
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