"مِن أَيْن أَنْتَ يا بوب؟"
Translation:Where are you from, Bob?
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No it's not informal. What you wrote is indeed correct. Removing it is done sometimes in spoken Arabic afaik but it's grammatically incorrect.
PS: A similar example is the French negation "ne ... pas" (like "don't do this" is "ne fais pas ça") where the "ne" is often omitted when speaking ("fais pas ça"). It's not proper French but it's how we speak in day to day life.
Ah, so they've both got the letter ي , but the former is followed by Alif, so has the initial shape whereas the latter only has a fatha and therefore retains its independent shape? Thank you so much, fgotmyname. And I like your pen name. So I'll follow you. The "so" doesn't refer only to your name.