Chinese Grammar - Introduce Yourself

Updated: Jun 13


How to introduce yourself in Mandarin

Learning Highlight


  • Learn how to introduce yourself.
















In Mandarin Chinese, if you want to ask a person’s name, you could say:

  • "你叫什么名字, nǐ jiào shén me míng zì?" (What’s your name?”)


Let’s break down the Chinese sentence "nǐ jiào shén me míng zì?"

  • 你, nǐ” means “you”

  • 叫, jiào” means “to be called”.

  • 名字, míng zì” means “Name”

  • 什么, shén me” is a question word, meaning “What”. 什么, What” is placed before a noun, which is used to ask for specific information of the noun that a person wants to know.


For example, “什么名字, what name” , “什么, what” is placed before a noun, in this case, “name”, which refers to the specific name that a person wants to know.


Let’s see another example of using “what”, “什么颜色, what color”:

“what” is place before “color”, it refers to the specific color that a person wants to know.


Therefore, “你叫什么名字, nǐ jiào shén me míng zì” is literally translated to be “You are called what name”, which in turn refers to asking for your name.


To conclude, if you want to ask a person’s name in Mandarin Chinese, you say,

  • 你叫什么名字, nǐ jiào shén me míng zì” (What is your name?)


Next, to introduce your name in Mandarin Chinese, it is common to start with 我叫, wǒ jiào”and then followed by your name.

  • “我, wǒ” means “I”

  • “叫, jiào” means “to be called”


For examples, if your name is Mary, you can reply:

  • "我叫玛丽, wǒ jiào mǎ lì" (My name is Mary.)


If you name is David, you can reply:

  • "我叫大卫, wǒ jiào dà wěi" (My name is David).


A grammatical structure to introduce one’s name is "Subject + ", jiào" + Name".

In this structure,

  • Subject can be “I”, “You”, “He”, “She”

  • Name is the name of a person like Mary.

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