How to say your name in German

How to say your name in German

Summary

You meet a group of people and don't know how to introduce yourself in German? And you want learn how to pronounce German correctly? We have solved your problem! Besides "Wie heißt du?" and ""Ich heiße ..." there are many others ways. But you do not always know when and how to introduce yourself in German and ask for the name? Our overview with interesting videos and sound recordings will help you to quickly understand the difference between formal and informal. In this way you will learn to introduce yourself. n addition, our free e-book provides you with all the information you need.

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Watch video: Asking for the name in German

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Transcript

To ask someone 'what is your name?' in German you would say: "Wie heißt du?" - the "wie" means 'how' - "heißt" comes from "heißen" - which means 'to be called'- and "du" you means 'you'- so it literally means 'how are you called': "Wie heißt du?" And there is a special letter which is called "ß" in German. Just remember for now it is pronounced like 'ss'. A valid answer to the question would be: "Ich heiße Anja." or "Ich bin Anja." - 'I am Anja'.

There is one more way to ask someone for their name: "Wer bist du?" - "Wer" means 'how' in German - do not confuese it with the english 'where'. "Wer bist du?" means: "Who are you?" "Wer bist du?" "Ich bin Anja."

We have one more way to ask for the name in German: We learnd "Wie heißt du?", "Wer bist du?" and the last one is "Wie ist dein Name?". "Wie" means 'how', "ist" 'is' is "dein" is 'your' and "Name" is 'name'. And you could say "Mein Name ist Anja" - 'My name is Anja'. This is a polity way Germans don't use often.

Examples  Rules: How to say your name in German

Mein Name ist ... - My name is ...

The best way to start a small talk in German is often to ask about the well-being or the name. But how do you say what is your in German? You can ask: "Ich bin ..." Or “Mein Name ist ..." In German. The rules for addressing people in German tend to be stricter than many other cultures. Learning the following common rules will prevent you from being rude.

Situation
Informal
Formal
Addressing
One person
Multiple persons
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Ich heiße ...
I am called ...
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In German there are three particularly frequently used forms of introducing oneself. One of these is "Ich heiße ... ", which means "I am called..." You use it when you want to introduce yourself briefly and talk to a person in a dialogue.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
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Friends
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Young people
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Family
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Mood
😀

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, meeting friends of friends

Ich heiße Frau ...
I am called Mrs. ...
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The form "Ich heiße Frau ..." is used as a formal form to introduce yourself as a woman. If you are a man you would use "Herr". The "Frau" and "Herr" are followed by the surname of the person introducing himself.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
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Friends
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Young people
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Elderly People
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Boss / Colleagues
Mood
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Friendly

Situations

at school, at a work party, at work

Wir sind ...
We are ...
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"Wir sind..." can be used to introduce a group of people or even different people. For example, "Wir sind die Klasse 8A." It is used in an informal context.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
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Friends
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Young people
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Family
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Mood
😀

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Wir sind Frau und Herr ...
We are Mrs. und Mr. ..
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"Wir sind Frau und Herr ..." is used when, for example, two people check into a hotel, but only one person wants to introduce several people. After the "Wir sind ..." follow the last names of the persons. The person who speaks their name last.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
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Elderly people
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Teacher
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Colleagues
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Mood
👔

cool

Situations

at work, at a party, at a hotel

Mein Name ist ...
My name is ...
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"Mein Name ist ..." is often used when you speak in front of a group of people and want to introduce yourself with your first name. An example is " "Hallo zusammen. Mein Name ist ...".

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
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Friends
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Young people
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Family/Parents
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Mood
😀

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at a sports club

Mein Name ist Frau ...
My name is Mrs.. ...
expand phrase

"Mein Name ist Frau..." is used when you speak in front of a group of people and want to introduce yourself as a woman with your surname. "Frau" is used just for women and "Herr" (Mein Name is Herr ...) for men. An example is: "Guten Tag. Mein Name ist Frau/Herr...".

  • Formal
    Formal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
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Teacher
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Elderly people
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Colleagues
person image
Mood
👔

Friendly

Professional

Situations

at school, at work, at hotel

Wir heißen ...
We are called ...
expand phrase

"Wir heißen ..." is used when a person wants to introduce several people. After "Wir heißen ..." follow the the first names of the persons. The person who speaks, says their name last and sometimes points their finger at the person they are introducing.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
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Friends
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Young people
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Family
person image
Mood
😀

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Unsere Namen sind Frau und Herr ...
We are called Mrs. and Mr....
expand phrase

The presentation "Unsere Namen sind Frau und Herr..." is used in a formal context. After the "Frau (Mrs.)" and "Herr (Mr.)" follow the last names of the persons to be named.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
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Friends
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Eldery people
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Colleagues
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Situations

at work, at a party, at hotel/official guest-list

Wir heißen Frau/Herr ...
We are Mrs./Mr. ...
expand phrase

The formal self-presentation "Wir heißen Frau/Herr ..." is used to introduce different names of persons in a group. One example would be: "Wir heißen Frau Müller und Herr Winter". "Frau" is used for women and "Herr" for men. You can also use the first names: "Wir heißen Frau Vera Müller und Herr Tim Winter."

  • Formal
    Formal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Elderly people
person image
Boss / Colleagues
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Situations

at school, at a party, at a work meeting

Unsere Namen sind ...
We are called ...
expand phrase

The self-presentation "Unsere Namen sind ..." is used and different names of persons of a group are introduced into each other. One example would be: "Unsere Namen sind Marie und Max."

  • Informal
    Informal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
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Friends
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Young people
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Family
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Mood
😀

Friendly

Situations

at work, at a party, holding a presentation

Ich bin ...
I am ...
expand phrase

If you want to introduce yourself simply, you can just say "Ich bin..." and your name. You can also add your last name. In most parts of Germany, first name is said first and then the surname. In the south of Germany, however, it can also happen that the surname is said first and then the first name.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
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Friends
person image
Young people
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Family
person image
Mood
😀

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Ich bin Frau ...
I am Mrs.. ...
expand phrase

If you want to introduce yourself formally as a woman, you can say "Ich bin Frau ..." and your last name. AS a man you use "Herr". This is often used by teachers in the first lesson. "Frau" is used for women and "Herr" for men.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • One person
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Young people
person image
Boss
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Situations

at school, at a formal party, at work

Wie heißt ... ? - What is ...?

Do you know how to ask for the name in German? You can ask: "Wie heißt du?" Or “Wie ist dein Name?" In German. Here you find many more examples.

Situation
Informal
Formal
Addressing
One person
Multiple persons
Expand
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Wie heißt du?
What is your name?
expand phrase

The question "Wie heißt du? is the most common in the German-speaking world.It is used among friends and in informal conversations. The word "wie" means "how", "heißt" comes from "heißen" and the word "du" means "you".

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    One person
Used By
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Friends
person image
Young people
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Family
person image
Mood
😃

Friendly

Curious

Situations

at school, at a birthday party

Wie heißt ihr?
What is your name?
expand phrase

The question "Wie heißt ihr?" is the most common question to ask a group of people in the German-speaking world. It is used among friends and in informal conversations.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • Multiple persons
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Young people
person image
Teacher
person image
Mood
😃

Friendly

Curious

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Wie heißen Sie?
What is your name? (formal)
expand phrase

The question "Wie heißen Sie?" is used in formal contexts. When you meet someone, you first greet them, for example, with a "Guten Tag".

  • Formal
    Formal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
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Boss / Colleagues
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Elderly people
person image
Teacher
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Situations

at school, at an official party, at work

Wie ist dein Name?
What is your name?
expand phrase

"Wie ist dein Name?" is what you would ask on a guest list. Or, when you get to know someone new.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    One person
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Young people
person image
Teacher
person image
Mood
😀

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Wie sind eure Namen?
What are your names?
expand phrase

"Wie sind eure Namen?", you would ask in an informal context, when people are on a first-name basis with each other. You would also ask the question if you wanted to hack off a guest list at a disco.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • Multiple persons
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Young people
person image
Teacher
person image
Mood
😀

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Wie ist Ihr Name?
What is your name? (formal)
expand phrase

"Wie ist Ihr Name?" would be a question asked at a guest list when a formal meeting is involved. But you could also ask it when introducing yourself at a trade show or business dinner.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • One person
    One person
Used By
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Doctor
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Elderly people
person image
Colleagues
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Wer bist du?
Who are you?
expand phrase

The question "Wer bist du?" is very direct and would rather be asked as a counter question. It seems polite to introduce a "Und wer bist du? before the question.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • One person
    One person
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Young people
person image
Family
person image
Mood
😀

Friendly

Curious

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Wer seid ihr?
Who are you?
expand phrase

"Wer seid ihr?" is what you would informally ask a group of people. The question sounds inquiring, but can also be construed as suspicious.

  • Informal
    Informal
  • Multiple persons
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Friends
person image
Young people
person image
Teacher
person image
Mood
😀

Friendly

Curious

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Wer sind Sie?
Who are you? (formal)
expand phrase

"Wer sind Sie?" is what you would informally ask a person. The question sounds inquiring, but can also be construed as suspicious.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • Multiple persons
    One person
Used By
person image
Colleagues
person image
Elderly people
person image
Doctor
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Wie sind Ihre Namen?
What is your name? (formal)
expand phrase

"Wie sind Ihre Namen?", you would ask a group of people to introduce themselves. You'd also ask the question if you wanted to check into a hotel or check off a guest list.

  • Formal
    Formal
  • Multiple persons
    Multiple persons
Used By
person image
Teacher
person image
Elderly
person image
Doctor
person image
Mood
👔

Professional

Friendly

Situations

at school, at a party, at home

Situation
Informal
Formal
Addressing
One person
Multiple persons
Expand
Collapse
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Practice German Dialogues

Dialogue #1 - To introduce oneself informally to someone

To start a conversation you can introduce yourself and then ask the other person for the name. In the same way, you can answer the question of what your name is, you’ll answer.

dialog avatar
Hallo. Wie heißt du?
Hello. What's your name?
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Hi. Ich heiße Tim. Und du?
Hi. My name is... What's yours?
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Ich bin Barbara. Schön dich kennen zu lernen.
I am Barbara. Nice to meet you.
dialog avatar
Finde ich auch.
I agree.

Dialogue #2 - Introduce yourself to a colleague

If you’re addressing one person formal way with "Sie" (you) — then you have one set of expressions. Asking a German-speaker for the name, the reply will be the last or family name, not the first name.

dialog avatar
Guten Tag. Wie heißen Sie?
Hello. What's your name?
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Guten Tag. Ich heiße Herr Meier. Wie ist Ihr Name?
Hello. My name is Mr. Meyer. And yours? What's your name?
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Ich bin Frau Müller. Ich freu mich sehr Sie kennen zu lernen.
I'm Mrs. Müller. I'm very pleased to meet you.
dialog avatar
Ganz meinerseits.
My pleasure.

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Free e-book: 10 most important conversations in German

It always depends on what setting you are in and on how you answer the question "Wie ist Ihr Name?". If you are in an informal environment, you can answer the question about your name with your first name. If you are in a more formal environment, introduce yourself using your last name. We have prepared an e-book for you for a more detailed and better insight into the most important conversations in German.

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