How to ask what’s your name in Italian

Name’s Lucia. Hi.

Italians love to complicate things (especially when it comes to bureaucracy), so the way you ask what’s your name in Italian will depend on the degree of familiarity and the age difference between you and your conversation partner.

Come ti chiami?
What’s your name? (informal)

Come si chiama?
What’s your name? (polite)

man offering a woman a drink at a bar

Let’s see how to ask anyone’s name in Italian!


How do you ask what’s your name in Italian?

Come ti chiami?
What’s your name? (casual)
Literally: How do you call yourself?

Chiamarsi, to call yourself, is a stinky verb. It’s a very common verb and it’s one of the first verbs the Italian student will encounter in class. Guess what? It’s not the easiest verb to learn because it’s a reflexive verb.

So don’t worry if the literal translation confuses you. This is normal.

Just get familiar with it for now, and we’ll see what is going on with this verb and others in other lessons. There is nothing stopping you from taking the masochistic route and jumping straight to the Chiamare/Chiamarsi lesson…

All right, when would you use the casual way of asking what’s your name in Italian? If you’re an adult and the person you’re talking to is a child, go ahead and ask. It is also a common way to greet a new colleague.

However, don’t use this on elderly people and adults you’ve just met, as it’s considered rude.

what's your name in italian - come ti chiami

Come si chiama?
What’s Your name? (formal)
Literally: How do you call Yourself?

This form is rare, but it does exist. Why is it rarely used? In formal scenarios, people will most likely introduce themselves to you before you can start asking questions.

You don’t need to ask for their name because they will give it to you before you can ask.

Piacere, Mario. Nice to meet you, I’m Mario.
(No, Mario isn’t really a common name, but it’s the first one that comes to mind…)

Interestingly, this form could also be translated as What’s his/her name?. We’ll see why in a moment!

Aiuta Lingookies con un 👍!


Even more ways to ask what’s your name in Italian

Qual è il tuo nome?
What’s your name? (casual)
Literally: Which is your name?

Qual è il Suo nome?
What’s Your name? (formal)

what's your name in italian - qual è il suo nome

These are less common ways to ask what’s your name in Italian than the ones we just learned, but they’re still worth mentioning.

Culture shock!

Culture Shock!
You see, Italians don’t ask what your name is, they ask which your name is. After all, your parents chose your name from a pool of limited (albeit plentiful) choices…


Come fai di nome?
What’s your name? (informal)
Literally: How do you do of name?

Come fai di cognome?
What’s your surname? (informal)
Literally: How do you do of surname?

what's your name in italian - what's your surname

Nome means name. Cognome means surname. Both of these forms are informal, so don’t use them with people you barely know.

And that’s it!


Now what?

Now that you’ve seen how to say what’s your name in Italian, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

You can also do some Italian interactive exercises!

Title: Italian All-in-One For Dummies
Language: English / Italian
Publisher: For Dummies
Pages: 672

Learn to speak Italian like a native? Easy.
Italian All-in-One For Dummies appeals to those readers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing guide to mastering the Italian language. It contains content from all For Dummies Italian language instruction titles, including Italian For Dummies, Intermediate Italian For Dummies, Italian Verbs For Dummies, Italian Phrases For Dummies, Italian Grammar For Dummies, and Italian For Dummies Audio Set.

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