ir to go
mucho gusto it's a pleasure
llamarse to be called
¿Cuál es tu nombre? What is your name? (informal)
tienda store

Lesson Notes



The Focus of This Lesson Is Saying Your Name.
Hola, me llamo Jorge.
"Hi, I'm Jorge."

There are a few common ways to give your name in Spanish; the most common is to use the verb llamarse, meaning "to be called." Literally, this is llamar,meaning "to call," and se,meaning"oneself."


The table below shows the conjugation of the verb llamarse in the present tense. This is the most common and most current way to give people's names.



me llamo

"I am called"

te llamas

"you are called" (familiar)

se llama

"he/she/it is called," "you are called" (formal)

nos llamamos

"we are called"

os llamaís

"you all are called"

se llaman

"you all are called," "they are called"

For Example:

  1. Hola, me llamo Jorge.
    "Hi, I'm Jorge."

Using the mi nombre es... Formula

Another way people give their names and the names of others is the mi nombre es... formula. It is less common than llamarse and more antiseptic in tone.



mi nombre es...

"my name is..."

tu nombre es...

"your name is..."

su nombre es...

"he/she/it's name is..." "your name is (formal)"

nuestro nombre es...

"our name is..."

vuestro nombre es...

"your name is..."

su nombre es...

"your name is," "their name is..."

For Example:

  1. Mi nombre es Andrea.
    "My name is Andrea." 

Cultural Insights

Exchanging Names in Spanish

¿Cómo te llamas? is by far the most common and most colloquial way of asking someone their first name in Spanish. ¿Cuál es tu nombre? has a more antiseptic tone, and is more appropriate for non-social situations.  

To ask someone their last name, use the questions ¿Cómo te apellidas? or ¿Cuál es tu apellido? The noun is apellido ("last name, family name") and the verb is apellidar ("to be (last) named").



Below is a list of the grammar points introduced or used in this lesson. Click for a full explanation.

Uso verbal - reflexivos
Verbal Usage: Reflexives

Lesson Transcript

Fernando: Hello, everyone, welcome to the new SpanishPod101. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 1, Going to the Store. I’m Fernando and I’m joined by JP. Hey, JP ¿Cómo estás?
JP: Muy bien gracias, Fernando. Welcome, everyone, to the new SpanishPod101. We’re learning Spanish with some fun and effective lessons and we’re also trying to provide you with some cultural insights which you might not find in textbook. So, Fernando, what should we know about this lesson today?
Fernando: Well, Luis and Jimena are throwing a dinner party. Awesome. So they've sent Jorge and Andrea to meet each other and pick up some things at the store.
JP: Okay. So Jorge and Andrea are meeting each other for the first time?
Fernando: Yeah. I think Jimena might be trying to set them up.
JP: Okay. Fernando, give us the details of this lesson.
Fernando: Well, in this lesson, you will learn how to say what your name is. Conversation takes place in the park and the conversation is between Jorge and Andrea. The speakers will be using the familiar register.
JP: Okay. Now, we’re going to listen to their conversation in a second. But before we do, I want to remind you all that you can read along with the lesson notes. The lesson notes are found on the website. The website is www.SpanishPod101.com and we hope you read along with the lesson notes and listen to this dialogue. All right, ready to hear it? Let’s go. Let’s listen to the dialogue.

Lesson conversation

Jorge: Hola, me llamo Jorge. Mucho gusto. ¿Cuál es tu nombre?
Andrea: Mi nombre es Andrea. Igualmente, mucho gusto.
Jorge: ¿Nos vamos a la tienda?
Andrea: Sí, vamos.
Male: Let’s hear it again with dramatic speed.
Jorge: Hola, me llamo Jorge. Mucho gusto. ¿Cuál es tu nombre?
Andrea: Mi nombre es Andrea. Igualmente, mucho gusto.
Jorge: ¿Nos vamos a la tienda?
Andrea: Sí, vamos.
Male: One more time with the translation.
Jorge: Hola, me llamo Jorge. Mucho gusto. ¿Cuál es tu nombre?
Male: Hi, I’m Jorge, nice to meet you. What’s your name?
Andrea: Mi nombre es Andrea. Igualmente, mucho gusto.
Male: My name is Andrea. Likewise, nice to meet you.
Jorge: ¿Nos vamos a la tienda?
Male: You`re off to the store?
Andrea: Sí, vamos.
Male: Yes, let’s go.
JP: All right, Fernando, we’re back. So Jorge and Andrea met at the park and they’re going to the store together to pick up some things for Luis and Jimena’s dinner party.
Fernando: That’s right.
JP: So they hadn’t met before.
Fernando: Correct. In fact, they introduced each other and then it’s off to the store to pick up some supplies.
JP: Okay, cool.
JP: Well, let’s look at the vocabulary in this lesson.
Fernando: llamarse
JP: To be called.
Fernando: lla-mar-se, llamarse
Fernando: mucho gusto
JP: It’s a pleasure.
Fernando: mu-cho gus-to, mucho gusto
JP: All right. What’s next?
Fernando: la tienda
JP: Store.
Fernando: la ti-en-da, la tienda
JP: Okay. Next.
Fernando: ¿Cuál es tu nombre?
JP: What is your name?
Fernando: ¿Cu-ál es tu nom-bre?, ¿Cuál es tu nombre?
Fernando: ir
JP: To go.
Fernando: ir, ir
JP: Okay, cool. Now that we’ve heard those words in isolation, let’s talk about them.
Fernando: Let’s look at “llamarse”.
JP: “llamarse”, to be called, right? Literally, to call oneself “llamarse”.
Fernando: Yes. In the dialogue, we heard it in the first person. When Jorge say, "My name is Jorge,": Me llamo Jorge.
JP: Y yo me llamo JP.
Fernando: Y yo me llamo Fernando. This is the verb “llamarse”.
JP: Hola, Fernando, mucho gusto.
Fernando: That’s our next word “mucho gusto”. This is like in English when you say, "Nice to meet you," you say, “mucho gusto”.
JP: “mucho gusto” what else?
Fernando: Well, what’s next is the phrase “¿Cuál es tu nombre?”
JP: What is your name “¿Cuál es tu nombre?”. Now, Fernando, earlier, we talked about names using “llamarse”.
Fernando: That’s right. You can also talk about names in this word “nombre” which is name, your name “tu nombre”.
JP: Okay. One more word.
Fernando: The verb “ir”.
JP: “ir” means “to go” and how did we hear it in this dialogue?
Fernando: Well, in the end, Jorge is talking about taking off to the store and Andrea says “sí, vamos”.
JP: Okay, that word “vamos” is the first person plural form of “ir”, it means let’s go.
Fernando: Right “vamos”, third verb “ir”.

Lesson focus

JP: Cool. Now let’s look at the grammar. Okay, Fernando, this lesson was all about saying your name.
Fernando: Yes. Jorge and Andrea both said their names but they did it in a different way. Jorge says, “Me llamo Jorge”. On the other hand, Andrea says, “Mi nombre es Andrea”.
JP: “Me llamo Jorge”, “Mi nombre es Andrea”. You know, both phrases get translated the same way, "My name is Jorge", "My name is Andrea."
Fernando: Right.
JP: But just in case you want to know the literal translation of both of them, “Mi nombre es Andrea” is "My name is Andrea," but “Me llamo Jorge” is more like, "I call myself Jorge".
Fernando: Yes. So, "I call myself Jorge," sounds awkward in English.
JP: It does, it really does.
Fernando: But in Spanish “me llamo”, this is actually the more common way of the two that you use when you want to tell someone your name.
JP: Okay. So people preferred “llamarse”.
Fernando: People do prefer “llamarse”.
JP: Okay. So if I wanted to say, "My name is Fernando.".
Fernando: Me llamo Fernando.
JP: Okay.


Fernando: Well, I think that just about does it for today.
JP: Cool. Now, folks, before we go, remember you can leave us a comment on this lesson. We love to see your feedback. You can go to this lesson at our website which is www.SpanishPod101.com. Click on comments. Leave your comments, a question, a suggestion, anything. Just say hello. We love to see what you have to say. The website again is www.SpanishPod101.com. All right. I guess it’s time to go. Hasta luego.
Fernando: Hasta luego.