How to ask "What is your name?" in Chinese - 20 Questions to Basic Fluency #1

In this series we will take a look at approximately 20 basic, high frequency questions and answers that will help you with your communication skills in Mandarin, Chinese.  Please feel free to answer the questions in Mandarin or pinyin in the reply to the best of your ability.


If you are beyond the basic level, perhaps you would like to answer the questions with a more in depth response, using more colloquial language, providing some helpful tips and cultural information or correcting the answers (or questions) for all who are new to Mandarin.     


  Q:你叫什么名字?Ni3 jiao4 shen2me ming2zi? What is your name?

  A: 我叫 Matt. 你呢?Wo3 jiao4 Matt. Ni3 ne? My name is Matt. And you?


Chinese Name Q: 你的中文名字叫什么?Ni3de zhong1wen2 ming2zi jiao4 shen2me? What is your Chinese name?

  A: 我的中文名字叫马特。Wo3de zhong1wen2 ming2zi jiao4 ma3te4. My Chinese name is ma3te4.


If you would like to search for your name in Chinese, check out this link:

(photo credit: intuitivmedia)

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Comment by sikora on February 21, 2013 at 11:29am

Ethan, 我很喜欢你的中文名字!

Comment by Ethan Nelson on February 21, 2013 at 3:19am


我叫Ethan, 你呢? 我的中文名字叫伊森,


Comment by Ruaridh Maxwell/麥儒叡 on June 15, 2012 at 9:19am


Comment by jono1001 on December 24, 2011 at 8:27am

Excellent post Sikora.  Nice simple explanations. 

Comment by Shu on December 19, 2011 at 8:42pm

You are very welcome Indira :) You have a passion on learning Chinese!! You will do fine :)

Comment by Indira Santos on December 19, 2011 at 7:51pm

You have no idea how happy i got when i read the title of this post and i realized that i know how to ask this in chinese!! Before even read the post! haha. Don't mind me, it's a begginer thing kind of happiness. lol. (yeah yeah I'm silly, I know.. hehe)

And thank you for the "Gui" explanation, Shu! I didn't know about it before.

Comment by Shu on December 18, 2011 at 5:58am

Hi Matt,

That is a good start, keep up the good work!

When we are asking someone who is older or possess a higher position at the workplace, it would be good to use gui 贵 in front of xing 姓 to show politeness and respect。For example: qing wen ni gui xing? 请问你贵姓?May I ask what your honorable surname?

Hi Gen laoshi,

that is a good explanation:)

Have a nice weekend to you all!

Comment by Gen on December 18, 2011 at 1:07am



绰号 is nickname 


what is your nickname is


Nǐ de chuòhào shì shénme?


do you have a nickname?


Nǐ yǒu méiyǒu chuòhào?


do your friends gives you any nicknames?


Nǐ de péngyǒu yǒu méiyǒu gěi nǐ qǐ chuòhào?



Comment by Brandon on December 17, 2011 at 11:26am

Great idea for blog series, thanks for writing.

Related to this question, I would actually be curious if anyone knows how to ask like...

What is your nickname or do you have any nicknames? (do you go by any nicknames or do your friends have any nicknames for you).  Things like that.  

As a way to go beyond the formal name when making friends...  obviously more relevant for the bar than the boardroom but still could be useful.

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