Has someone ever asked you what your name is in Spanish? Well, they have asked me. The name Alex in Spanish would be Alejandro if my name was Alexander. It is not. Just plain old, Alex. So, in Spanish my name is…Alex. If you like, you can say it with a Spanish pronunciation, which brings me to the subject of name inquiry.
How do ask someone what their name is in Spanish? Or, how do you know when someone is asking you what your name is? Here’s how:
¿Cómo te llamas?
Listen to audio: What’s Your Name in Spanish
The literal translation is ‘How you are called?’ However, it really means ‘What is your name?’ — that’s just how Spanish speakers do it. You could say:
¿Cuál es su nombre?
…which does translate to ‘What is your name?’ But if you do, you’ll be revealing that you really don’t know Spanish. However, you may be asked for your name with ¿Cuál es su nombre? if, for example, someone wants your name to fill out a form, application, etc., so be aware of that possibility.
Up to now, I’ve given you a way to ask someone their name if you want to be their friend or consider yourself “equals” with that person. As you will discover while learning Spanish, there are two forms of address in Spanish–familiar and formal. Without going into detail here, what you need to know at a minimum is; when addressing an authority figure–your teacher, your girlfriend’s parents, etc.–use the formal form of address.
How do you ask your girlfriend’s father what his name is? (if she forgot to introduce you!) Here’s how:
¿Cómo se llama, usted?
Ok, you say. I’ve got it. Now, how do I answer them when they ask me what my name is in Spanish? If your name is Alex, you say:
Me llamo Alex.
That’s it. Easy huh? Of course I haven’t discussed the “why” of it here. If you’re curious and would like to know more, here are some more in-depth online Spanish lessons–and, they’re free:
What is your name in Spanish? Leave a comment and I’ll look it up for you.