10 Ways to Say What’s Your Name in Chinese | Ask People’s Name in Chinese


How to ask people's name in Chinese? There are so many different ways, depending on the situations. Watch this 1-minute video lesson with pinyin and characters transcript and learn more than 10 ways of how to say what's your name in Chinese! Also you can learn about how to introduce yourself in Chinese in another of our "How to Say in Chinese" lesson.


How to Say What's Your Name in Chinese

1. 你叫什么

nǐ jiào shén me - literal. you are called what liberal. what's your name
你叫什么 is a casual and probably the mostly used way of how to ask people's name in Chinese. You can use 你叫什么 to a person 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. In Chinese, level of politeness is not as strict as in Japanese or Korean, but with certain expressions such as asking people's name or greetings, you need to be careful with which level of politeness you choose for different situation and/or people.

2. 你姓什么

nǐ xìng shén me - literal. you family name what liberal. what's your family name
There is a way of how to ask what's your name in Chinese if you specifically wan to ask someone's 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 their name, you can ask their last name instead. 你姓什么 is a relatively casual way to ask a person's last name, compared to 你贵姓.

3. 你叫什么名字

nǐ jiào shén me míngzi - literal. you are called what name liberal. 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 usually see 姓名.

4. 你的名字是什么

nǐ de míng zì shì shén me - literal. your name is what liberal. what's your name
Another phrase of how to ask what is your name in Chinese would be 你的名字是什么, it is the equivalent of 你叫什么名字, they mean the same thing, only with different word choices. 你的名字是什么 is less common than 你叫什么 or 你叫什么名字.


How to Say What's Your Name in Chinese If You're Annoyed

5. 你是谁

nǐ shì shuī/shéi - literal. you are who liberal. who are you
This is what you say when you DON'T want to be polite and you want the person to know. 你是谁 is usually used with an unfriendly intonation, suggesting that:

  • you're probably blaming the person or about to blame them
  • the person did or said something that they are not supposed to do or say
  • you are intimidated by the person and want to know who they are

How to Ask People's Name in Chinese Politely

6. 请问哪位

qǐng wèn nǎ wèi - literal. please (allow me to) ask which one liberal. who are you please
If you want to be polite when asking a question, there's no other phrase better than 请问. Start any question with this and you will get the instant effect of being polite. Also wèi is a polite version of measure word for people. When you don't know the person and want to be polite to ask their name or who they are, especially ON THE PHONE, say 请问哪位.

7. 您是哪位

nín shì nǎ wèi - literal. (respectful) you which one liberal. who are you please
is the polite way of saying . 您是哪位 generally means the same as 请问哪位, the difference is 您是哪位 is more likely to be used IN PERSON than on the phone.

8. 贵姓

guì xìng - literal. noble family name liberal. may I know your family name
贵姓 can be used with or , with 您贵姓 even more polite than 你贵姓. This is probably as polite as it can get of how to ask what is your name in Chinese. But be careful when people ask you 你贵姓 or 您贵姓, make sure you drop the guì respectful, noble.

9. 请问怎么称呼

qǐng wèn zěn me chēng hū - literal. please (allow me to) ask how to address (you) liberal. how would you like to be addressed?
Instead of their name, some people might prefer to be addressed with their title, such as 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... If you want to ask specifically how a person would like to be addressed, use 请问怎么称呼, you can put or into this sentence and say 请问你怎么称呼 or 请问您怎么称呼. Also, in Chinese 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.


How to Ask People's Nickname in Chinese

10. 你有小名吗

nǐ yǒu xiǎo míng ma - literal. you have nickname, yes? liberal. do you have a nickname
In Chinese, 小名 means nickname, ask your close friend 你有小名吗 to call them by their nickname. If they say 没有 méi yǒu I don't have (one), you can even give them a 小名.

Collapse Comments
LayingPremium Student May 2, 2021 at 8:57 am

I noticed that 哪 is pronounced as nei instead of na. Why?

Lili HaoTeacher May 8, 2021 at 7:54 pm

Sorry for the confusion.

In Northern China spoken language, 这, 那, 哪 can sometimes be pronounced zhèi, nèi, něi, instead of zhè, nà, nǎ.

But technically the sound “zhèi (这)” comes from “zhè yī (这一)“; “nèi (那)” comes from “nà yī (那一)”; “něi (哪)” comes from “nǎ yī (哪一)”.

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