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January 2019

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What is your name?

In a Formal Situation

qǐng wèn nǎ wèi - Who are you please?

If you want to be polite when asking any question, there's nothing better than starting with 请问. Start any question with this and you will get the instant effect of being polite. Also 位 wèi is a polite version of measure word for people. This is especially used when you're on the phone and you want to be polite to ask their name or who they are.

nín shì nǎ wèi - Who are you please?

This question pretty much means the same as 请问哪位. But you would use this when talking to the person face-to-face rather than on the phone.

guì xìng - family name / last name

贵姓 can be used with 你 (informal) or 您 (you - formal). This is as polite as it can get to ask for someone's name in Italian. But be careful when people ask you 你贵姓 or 您贵姓, make sure you drop the 贵 (i.e. My last name is Lee - 我 姓李 - wǒ xìng Lǐ).

qǐng wèn zěn me chēng hū - How would you like to be addressed?

Instead of their name, some people might prefer to be addressed with their title instead of their name. So use this when asking someone how they would prefer to be addressed in conversation. You can also use 您 to ask 请问您怎么称呼. Keep in mind, too, that the way you address someone with their title would be: Last Name + Title. For example, Dr. Li would be 李医生 lǐ yī shēng.

Here are some common titles:
博士 - bó shì - Dr.
医生 - yī shēng - Dr.
先生 - xiān sheng - Sir
经理 - jīng lǐ - Manager
老师 - lǎo shī - Teacher
老板 - lǎo bǎn - Boss
厂长 - chǎng zhǎng - Factory Manager

In an Informal Situation

nǐ jiào shén me - what's your name

A casual way of asking people's name in Italian. You would use this with someone who is about the same age or younger than you. It can also be used among coworkers at your workplace, as long as the person you're asking is not your superior.

nǐ xìng shén me - what's your last name

People's name are made of a first name, and a last name. For people that you want to be polite with, instead of asking for their name, you can ask for their last name.

nǐ xìng shén me míngzi - what's your name

你叫什么名字 is generally the same as 你叫什么. 名字 is a person's name, it could be used to refer to both their full name and their first name only. 姓名 xìng míng full name, also means name, only it's more used in written language, like when you fill out a form and you are asked to write down your name, you will most likely see 姓名.

nǐ de míng zì shì shén me - what's your name

This is less common than 你叫什么 or 你叫什么名字.

Asking For A Nickname In Italian

nǐ yǒu xiǎo míng ma - Do you have a nickname?

In Italian, 小名 means nickname, ask your close friend 你有小名吗 to ask if you can call them by their nickname. If they say 没有 méi yǒu they don't have one.


1. Getting to Know You

• What is your...?

    » Name?

    » Nationality?

    » Address?

    » Job/Occupation

    » Age

• Where are you from?

• Where do you live?

• Are you married?

More lessons coming soon, so please keep coming back!

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