Created using FigmaCreated using FigmaCreated using FigmaCreated using Figma

Saying your name: Je m'appelle, Tu t'appelles, Vous vous appelez

Look at these examples:

Comment tu t'appelles?
What is your name?

Comment vous vous appelez?
What is your name?

Je m'appelle Aurélie.
My name is Aurélie.

Tu t'appelles Théo.
Your name is Théo.

Vous vous appelez Monsieur Durand.
Your name is Mr Durand.

To say your name in French, you use the verb s'appeler (literally "to call oneself")

If you want to be informal, use the "tu" form.

If you need to be formal, use the "vous" form.

Note the difference in spelling between appelle / appelles and appelez

 

ATTENTION:

It's tempting to translate Je m'appelle... as I call myself... but despite this being its literal translation, this is not correct.

I call myself... implies one's real name is something else, or a choice over one's name.
-> My real name's John but I call myself / everyone calls me Jack.

In French, the equivalent of this is Je me fais appeler..., which has the same implication of choice over the name.

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Vous vous appelez Monsieur Durand.
Your name is Mr Durand.


Je m'appelle Aurélie.
My name is Aurélie.


Comment vous vous appelez?
What is your name?


Comment tu t'appelles?
What is your name?



Tu t'appelles Théo.
Your name is Théo.


Q&A

Eloise

Kwiziq community member

30 May 2018

1 reply

I answered tu t'appelle Thomas to the question your name is Thomas -- the correct answer was Tu m'apelle Thomas -- why?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

30 May 2018

30/05/18

Bonjour Eloise !


The correct answer here is "Tu t'appelles", but your answer was actually "Tu m'appelle", which is incorrect :)


Next time, please click the "Report it" button in your Correction Dashboard to report specific question issues, as it enables us to find your question more easily!


Bonne journée !

CrystalMaiden

Kwiziq community member

29 April 2018

1 reply

Is Je suis nom at least a colloquial thing that's correct?

I watched Despicable Me 2 in French a while ago and I heard " Je suis (nom) " from two characters, Margo and the main villain. Is that sometimes correct?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

2 May 2018

2/05/18

Actually, you can hear that said quite often. In my understanding the difference is very much like in English:


Je m'appelle Chris. -- My name is Chris.
Je suis Chris. -- I am Chris.


The former is, well, more formal.


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Mala

Kwiziq community member

3 November 2017

2 replies

Vous vous appellez comment?

Ron

Kwiziq community member

3 November 2017

3/11/17

Bonjour Mala,
Do you have a question related to this lesson?
Comment vous vous appelez?
Je m'appelle Ron

Ciriaco

Kwiziq community member

1 December 2017

1/12/17

Je m’appelle ciriaco

Beatrice

Kwiziq community member

24 September 2017

1 reply

Is "Vous appelez vous" the same thing as "vous vous appelez"

Ron

Kwiziq community member

25 September 2017

25/09/17

Bonsoir Béatrice,
There are two locutions to ask the question «What is your name», --> «Comment vous vous appelez?» and «Comment vous appelez-vous?» The second is the same question formed using inversion. Here is the lesson for this:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/my-languages/french/view/508
The difference between them primarily is the first is presented as the débutant level (A0) while the inverted question is more advanced and falls in the B1 level (niveau intermédiaire).
If you are indeed just beginning to learn French, my suggestion is to stay with le niveau débutant (A0) questions. By doing this, you should find yourself building a solid foundation in the basics of the language. You will progress to the B1 with continued studying and perseverance.
J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait.
Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet



Meher

Kwiziq community member

26 July 2017

2 replies

Does the form of spelling Appelle change with the gender of the person speaking?

Lisa

Kwiziq community member

27 July 2017

27/07/17

Hi Meher,
Not in the conjugated forms of the verb, like the present tense and other tenses. Jane and John both say Je m'appelle and all the other endings are not gendered.
However in one instance it would change, that is the past participle. So, in the passé composé, if "he called," you would say "il a appelé" in French. If she called, then it is appelée, and add an 's' if it is they.

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

9 August 2017

9/08/17

Bonjour Meher et Lisa !

Verbs conjugation depend on the number of the "person" (je, tu, il, elle, on, nous, vous, ils, elles) - i.e. singular or plural - but not its gender in most tenses:
Il s'appelle Marc et elle s'appelle Lucie.

As Lisa pointed out, the gender only affects the past participle in compound tenses, BUT the case she quoted is actually incorrect:
indeed, you only agree the past participle's gender and number when the verb uses "être" in compound tenses, and not "avoir".
Therefore, here there would be no agreement:
il a appelé / elle a appelé            ->     he called / she called

However, you would use "être" with reflexive verbs such as s'appeler, so there would be agreement here:
Il s'est appelé Marc et elle s'est appelée Lucie.

Though you wouldn't often say "His name was (once) Marc and her name was (once) Lucie." !

Here is a link to our lesson on past participle agreement:
https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/grammar/agree-past-participle-with-subjects-gender-and-number-with-etre-verbs-in-le-passe-compose-conversational-past

I hope that's helpful!
À bientôt !

chloe

Kwiziq community member

6 June 2016

2 replies

Hi! Why are there two vous's when using the more formal question??

Hi! Why are there two vous's when using the more formal question?? I have seen this before and don't fully understand why vous is repeated... Thanks!

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

6 June 2016

6/06/16

Bonjour Chloe,

S'appeler is a reflexive verb, which means that it needs a reflexive pronoun. In je m'appelle, "m" is the reflexive pronoun. In vous vous appeler, the 2nd vous is the reflexive pronoun: https://kwiziq.learnfrenchwithalexa.com/revision/glossary/pronoun-type/pronoms-reflechis-reflexive-pronouns

e

Kwiziq community member

8 August 2016

8/08/16

So when you are telling someone your name, "Je m'appelle John", you are saying "I call myself...". If you were to say "Je t'appelle...", with a "t" instead of an "m", then it would means "I call YOU", instead of "I call MYSELF".

Likewise, if someone said "Tu m'appelles", then it means "you call ME".

So with the "vous" example, the first "vous" is there because it's them who's doing the calling. The second "vous" is there because that's the person they are calling, they are calling themselves something (their name).

The word for "you" and "yourself" are both "vous" in that example. The words for "I" and "myself" are different, "je" and "me". The informal words for "you" and "yourself" are also different, "tu" and te".

I hope this helps, and if I'm wrong can someone please correct me.

Linda

Kwiziq community member

30 May 2016

2 replies

Could you say "Comment t'appelles tu?" or "Comment s'appelle t-il?" ?

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

30 May 2016

30/05/16

Bonjour Linda!


Yes, you can also use the more formal inverted question type. Just don't forget the hyphen that indicates the inversion between the verb and its subject:


Comment t'appelles-tu ?
Comment vous appelez-vous ?
(more advanced) Comment s'appelle-t-il ?

À bientôt !

Prateek

Kwiziq community member

3 June 2016

3/06/16

"Comment t'appelles tu?" is an informal way of asking someone "what's your name" and "Comment s'appelle t-il?" is when you are asking someone else "what is his name?"
the formal way to ask for someone's name is "Comment vous appelez-vous?". A common way of asking that same question is "comment tu t'appelles?"

Kwiziq community member

14 December 2015

2 replies

Doesn't "Tu t'appelles Laura" mean 'You call yourself Laura' ?

This question marked the answer 'You call yourself Laura' as incorrect. This is the literal translation. The option 'Your name is Laura' was also an option, but I saw 'You call yourself Laura' first and thus chose that option. This question needs to accept both or remove one or the other to avoid confusion. Thanks, Matt

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

14 December 2015

14/12/15

Bonjour Matt,


This is a very interesting (and often asked) question!


The fact is that even though the construction of the verb "s'appeler" is similar to the expression "to call oneself" in English, "Je m'appelle" can never mean "I call myself" in French, in the same way as "J'ai cinq ans" (on its own) never means "I have five years.".

If you wanted to say "I call myself Danny" (i.e. that's the name I give myself), in French you would use the following expression: Je me fais appeler Danny.


The reason we keep the two options in our question is specifically to address that transference error that is one of the most natural (therefore trickiest) to make between French and English.

I hope that's helpful.

A bientôt !

Joseph

Kwiziq community member

27 January 2018

27/01/18

I know this response is 2 years old, but your response is incorrect. There are two ways to translate something, litterally and figuratively. Understanding both is important, as the literal translation can give insight into the thought process and culture that created the language. You give both the figurative and literal translations as options, with no direction as to which answer you are looking for which would make many assume you want the literal as there are other ways to translate "My name is..." such as "Mon prenom est..." or "Mon nom est..."

Also your statement that "Je m'appelle" can never mean "I call myself" is incorrect. While the English phrase "I call myself" could imply that my given name is something different, it does not mean it is so. I could easily state "I call myself Joe", which is my given name, and the statement would be completely grammatically correct. That may not be the most common use, but it is a valid use of that phrase.

Jenny

Kwiziq community member

6 November 2015

1 reply

I learned what is your name as >comment vous appelez-vous< which I think sounds better.

Laura

Kwiziq language super star

9 November 2015

9/11/15

Bonjour Jenny !

They're both correct. The inversion you recommend is more formal; without inversion it's more familiar.
How has your day been?