Introducing People

What is your name?

Let’s practice asking someone’s name and saying your own name. Use the following phrase:

Как тебя зовут?            What’s your name? (informal)

This is an informal way to ask a name. It is often used when talking to peers, younger people, and people of the same age as the speaker.

Как вас зовут?               What’s your name? (formal, polite)

This is a polite way to ask stranger a name, and you can also use it when talking to a group of people because the word “вас” can refer to one or more people.

My name is…

If someone asked your name, or if you are seeing a person for the first time and want to introduce yourself, use the phrase:

Меня зовут ...          My name is [your name].
Меня зовут Андрей. My name is Andrei.

A shorter version to say the same would be:

Я [your name].           I’m [your name].
Я Андрей. I’m Andrei. (Literally: I Andrei)

In case you need to ask the person you are speaking with back for his or her name, use one of the following constructions:

А как Вас зовут?           And what’s your name? (formal) Literally: And how your name?
А как тебя зовут? And what’s your name?” (informal)

As you can see, the only difference between formal and informal versions is the subject pronoun вас or тебя (formed from вы and ты respectively), but more of that will be explained in futher lessons.

If you wish to quickly introduce yourself before inquiring someone's name, you can use another handy expression.

Меня зовут Катя. Как вас зовут?            My name is Katya. What’s your name?

First you say your name and then you ask their name(s). Note that since you already said your name, you need to logically emphasise the word “вас” in the question just as you would do in English. Make sure to replace the name "Katya" as used in the exaple with your own name.

Introducing yourself and others

It’s also very important to be able to introduce yourself the right way. Here’s how you can do it.

Давайте познакомимся! Меня зовут...       Let’s meet each other. My name is…
Можно с вами познакомиться?            May I get acquainted with you?

Here's how Russians introduce strangers to each other.

Познакомься. Это...         I’d like you to meet someone. This is…(informal)
Познакомьтесь.Это...              I’d like you to meet someone. This is…(formal or when addressing a group of people)

Both phrases mean “I’d like you to meet someone. This is…” and the literal translation is “Meet. This...”

After being introduced and having their names exchanged, people say

Очень приятно.         Very pleasant.
Приятно познакомиться.                Nice to meet you.

These phrases both have the same meaning and you should pick whichever one you prefer the most.

More sites about Russian names: Russian names, Russian names for girls

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