How to ask what’s your name in Italian

Name’s Lucia. Hi.

Italians love to complicate things (especially bureaucratically speaking), so the way you will ask what’s your name in Italian will depend on the degree of familiarity and age difference between you and your interlocutore.


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 oneself, is a stinky verb. It’s a very common verb and it’s one of the first verbs that the Italian learner meets in class. Guess what? It’s not the easiest verb out there because it’s a reflexive verb.

So don’t fret if that literal translation puzzles you. It is normal. Just make sure you get acquainted with it for now and we will see what the heck is about with this verb and others in other lessons. Nothing prevents you from going down the masochistic route and jump straight to the Chiamare/Chiamarsi lesson, though…

When would you use the casual form? If you’re an adult, and your interlocutor’s a kid, go on and ask. It is also common to greet a new coworker in such a way. Don’t use this with elderly and adults you just met, though, as it is considered rude.

what's your name in italian - nome
Come ti chiami?
What’s your name?

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

This form is uncommon, but it exists nonetheless. Why is it scarcely used? In formal scenarios, people will very likely introduce themselves to you before you can begin asking questions.

Piacere, Mario. Nice to meet you, I’m Mario.
(No, Mario‘s not really that common a 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 due time!


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 yoru name in italian
Qual è il Suo nome?
What’s Your name?

These are less common ways of asking what’s your name in Italian than the ones we’ve just met, but they’re worth mentioning nonetheless.

Culture shock!
You see, Italians don’t ask what your name is, but which your name is. After all, your parents picked up your name from a pool of limited (albeit abundant) 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' yor name in italian - cognome
Come fai di cognome?
What’s your surname?

Nome is name. Cognome is surname. These forms are both informal.


What next?

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!

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