Whereabouts ? For some reason, this word is rarely taught in English language course books and it often causes communication problems for non-native speakers who may not have seen/heard this common term before.

In simple terms, ‘whereabouts’ means ‘where exactly’? That is, the speaker wants a more detailed description of where a place is:

Where are you from?
– I’m from the UK.
– I’m from Leeds,
Whereabouts is that?
– It’s in the north-east of England, about an hour away from Manchester.

Whereabouts in Leeds do you live?
– I live in Headingley.
Ah, whereabouts is that?
– It’s a suburb about 2 miles north-west of Leeds city centre.”

It’s useful for phonecalls when you’re trying to locate a person’s whereabouts:

Where are you?
– I’m in the supermarket.
– I’m in the cereals aisle. I’ll wait for you here!

Try it out next time you want to know where someone or something is!