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

Comment tu t'appelles?
What is your name?



Tu t'appelles Théo.
Your name is Théo.


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?


Q&A Forum 22 questions, 35 answers

FunmilayoA0Kwiziq community member

Is "comment vous appelez vous" same as "comment vous vous appellez"?

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Funmilayo,

Yes, it is just another way of asking the same question -

What is your name?

The first one is more formal but you will hear both in France.

Hope this helps!

Is "comment vous appelez vous" same as "comment vous vous appellez"?

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MichaelA0Kwiziq community member

how to say your name.

Hi there Aurellie, I am just a bit confused about some aspects of this website. I love the way Laura teaches, but this is just really a bit of feedback which you have asked for in the past: I have lived in French speaking Switzerland for fifteen winter seasons...teaching in French, have done a primary school teacher qualification specialising in French and have passed some quite advanced grammer levels within this website system, yet it still baffles me by directing me from time time to quite a low level...for instance, how to say your name...? I can't see that I can have possibly got only 33% in this at any point...is it some kind of tactic of the website it wonder...? or just some kind of shortcoming...? ah well, just thought I'd mention it for feedback in case of the latter.


Best regards,

Michael  

Asked 3 months ago
RowenB1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Michael - Thanks for your questions here. I've emailed you to respond to these directly, as the scoring system is something best discussed via our support desk. 

how to say your name.

Hi there Aurellie, I am just a bit confused about some aspects of this website. I love the way Laura teaches, but this is just really a bit of feedback which you have asked for in the past: I have lived in French speaking Switzerland for fifteen winter seasons...teaching in French, have done a primary school teacher qualification specialising in French and have passed some quite advanced grammer levels within this website system, yet it still baffles me by directing me from time time to quite a low level...for instance, how to say your name...? I can't see that I can have possibly got only 33% in this at any point...is it some kind of tactic of the website it wonder...? or just some kind of shortcoming...? ah well, just thought I'd mention it for feedback in case of the latter.


Best regards,

Michael  

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LouiseA1Kwiziq community member

Tu or vous?

If tu is informal and vous a more formal approach, wouldn't you use Comment vous vous appellez? when asking someone you don't know what their name is? In what situation would you use Comment tu t'appelle? Merci.

Asked 3 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Yes, talking to an adult you don’t know, you would use the formal vous

The informal tu you use with someone you are on very friendly terms, but then you’d know their names of course, or with children. Young adults in an informal setting would also resort to the familiar form among themselves, even if they didn’t know each other. 

LouiseA1Kwiziq community member

Merci beaucoup. Je comprends maintenant. Merci pour la perspicacite.

OdanbestA0Kwiziq community member

You mean comment vous voud appelez not comment vous vous appellez.Thanks

Tu or vous?

If tu is informal and vous a more formal approach, wouldn't you use Comment vous vous appellez? when asking someone you don't know what their name is? In what situation would you use Comment tu t'appelle? Merci.

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DươngA1Kwiziq community member

how long could i take another quiz for same lesson i did?

Asked 5 months ago
RowenB1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Thanks for your question, Duong. I've sent you an email to explain this, as this is a technical question about how the site works. 

how long could i take another quiz for same lesson i did?

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PraisenicoleA0Kwiziq community member

I hope you are well

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Je vais très bien et vous?

JimmyA0Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Je vais tres bien et vous??? J'espires, vous etes bon- bone- bonnes.????? Tue et bien? I get confused. I might could come up with some other ways to say.

I hope you are well

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PraisenicoleA0Kwiziq community member

Composition about your self and family

Asked 6 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bienvenue Kamoja!

PraisenicoleA0Kwiziq community member

Je m’appelle kamoja.Je suis Kenyan.

Composition about your self and family

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FaithandrewsA0Kwiziq community member

Is there a formal way of saying she/he ( Il/Elle)?

Asked 8 months ago
MichelleC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Not really. You *could* say monsieur, madame or mademoiselle to avoid saying il or elle, but it's really fine to say il and elle. If you want to speak formally TO a person, you'd of course call them vous. But when speaking to someone else about them, you can say il or elle even if you call the person vous. 

Is there a formal way of saying she/he ( Il/Elle)?

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WellintonA0Kwiziq community member

0. Qui concerne les rapports ou contacts entre des civilisations différentes (13 lettres)

Someone to help me solving this? I need to answear today and i tried a lot of French dictionaries and didn't get this. 

Asked 9 months ago

0. Qui concerne les rapports ou contacts entre des civilisations différentes (13 lettres)

Someone to help me solving this? I need to answear today and i tried a lot of French dictionaries and didn't get this. 

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HalouiA0Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Can we say her name is like this:elle t'appeller ....

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Haloui,

It would be “Elle s’appelle”.

HalouiA0Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Aa okey thank you 

Can we say her name is like this:elle t'appeller ....

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SamiA0Kwiziq community member

Corrigez-moi . S'il vous plaît

Je m'appelle Sami et j'habite en Egypte.
Asked 11 months ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Correct.

Corrigez-moi . S'il vous plaît

Je m'appelle Sami et j'habite en Egypte.

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Sherin A1Kwiziq community member

how do you say i plead in french

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Sherin,

If you mean 'to plead' as 'to implore' it would be -

ImplorerSupplier 

Je vous supplie de lui passer mon message .

In legalese you would use 'plaider' for 'to plead'-

L'accusé a plaidé non coupable The accused pleaded not guilty

Hope this helps!

how do you say i plead in french

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MarnA1Kwiziq community member

I always learned It as “comment vous appelez vous”. Is this not correct?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

There are different ways to pose a question in French. The one you mention is the so-called inverted form. It is considered more formal and elegant:

Comment vous appelez-vous ?

Then there is the version with est-ce que:

Comment est-ce que vous vous appelez ?

And, lastly, the most common one in normal spoken French:

Comment vous vous appelez ? Or
Vous vous appelez comment ?

 

Sherin A1Kwiziq community member

it is also right ....

in english you can ask what is your name? and your name please? both are right and means the same 

just like that in french both are right 

there are many ways to say something

its your wish how to present it

I always learned It as “comment vous appelez vous”. Is this not correct?

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PhilipA1Kwiziq community member

"Vous vous appelez Laura" means:

Surely

 Your name is Laura

You call yourself Laura

means the same thing

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
Vous vous appelez Laura in French has the same function as "Your name is Laura" in English. Therefore that's the proper translation. The fact that, literally, it translates to "you call yourself Laura" in English is not really important and only confuses the issue.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
In English, if you want to learn someone's name, you don't ask, "What do you call yourself?". However, in French you DO say, "Comment vous vous appelez?"
PokemonA0Kwiziq community member
yup its all right

"Vous vous appelez Laura" means:

Surely

 Your name is Laura

You call yourself Laura

means the same thing

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RyanA0Kwiziq community member

I still don’t get it

When do you use “appelez”

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Ryan,

The verb 'appeler quelqu'un' is not reflexive when it means to call someone, unlike 's'appeler' which is 'to be called'.

Appelez Marie tout de suite!Call Marie straight away!

Appelez in this instance is the Imperative 'vous' form of the verb 'Appeler'.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
When the subject is 2nd person plural (vous), the verb form is appelez. 
RyanA0Kwiziq community member
Thank you Chris and Cécile

I still don’t get it

When do you use “appelez”

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EloiseA2Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

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 !

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

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CrystalMaidenC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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?
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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).

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?

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MalaA0Kwiziq community member

Vous vous appellez comment?

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer
Bonjour Mala,
Do you have a question related to this lesson?
Comment vous vous appelez?
Je m'appelle Ron
CiriacoC1Kwiziq community member
Je m’appelle ciriaco

Vous vous appellez comment?

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BeatriceA0Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
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: Forming inverted questions with reflexive verbs in Le Présent 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

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

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MeherA1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team memberCorrect answer
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://french.kwiziq.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 !
LisaB2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
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.

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

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ChloeA0Kwiziq community member

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!
Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
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://french.kwiziq.com/revision/glossary/pronoun-type/pronoms-reflechis-reflexive-pronouns
EA1Kwiziq community member
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.

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!

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Linda A2Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

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 !

PrateekB1Kwiziq community member
"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?"

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

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JennyB1Kwiziq community member

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

Asked 4 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Jenny ! They're both correct. The inversion you recommend is more formal; without inversion it's more familiar.

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

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