8 Seriously Useful Ways to Respond to ‘¿Cómo te llamas?’

Part of what makes a trip abroad so great is the opportunity to make friends in other countries and learn about different cultures.

If you’re communicating with the locals in a Spanish-speaking country, you’re sure to be on the receiving end of a ‘¿Cómo te llamas?’ – or ‘What’s your name?’ – at some point or another.

But how to respond?

Well, if you’re at all unsure, this (pretty epic!) list of 8 different ways to reply to ‘¿Cómo te llamas?’ is sure to come in handy!

Let’s get into it!

‘¿Cómo te llamas?’ meaning

‘¿Cómo te llamas?’ LITERALLY translates to ‘How are you called?” in English.

Let’s break it down:

1. ‘Cómo’ with an acute accent means ‘how’ in English. If you remove the accent, it translates to ‘like’, ‘as’, or ‘such as’ … so that little fleck of ink is actually pretty important!

2. ‘Te’ is a reflexive pronoun; it’s used when conjugating reflexive verbs (‘llamarse’, ‘bañarse’, etc.) in the second person singular. If you’re addressing someone in a very respectful or formal way, be sure to use ‘se’ instead of ‘te’ (‘¿Como se llama?’).

3. ‘Llamas’ is the second person singular conjugation of the verb ‘llamar’, which means ‘to call’.

By the way, the word ‘llamas’ also means ‘flames’, so don’t get the two confused!

No matter which Spanish-speaking country you’re in, this is the proper and typical way of asking someone’s name, so we can liken it more to ‘What’s your name?’ in English (you wouldn’t say, ‘How are you called?’, would you?).

Dos personas comienzan a platicar en una fiesta

Imelda – ¿Cómo te llamas?

Yuri – Me llamo Yuri, ¿y tú?

Two people start talking at a party

Imelda – What’s your name?

Yuri – My name’s Yuri, and yours?

Everything clear as so far?

Good! Let’s get into the various ways in which you can respond!

1 ‘Me llamo’ + your name

This is the most common way to respond to ‘¿Cómo te llamas?’ in Spanish. It literally translates to ‘I am called …’ but is really more akin to ‘My name’s …’.

Una vecina nueva se presenta

¡Buenos días! Me llamo Catarina, ¡encantada de conocerlos!

A new neighbor introduces herself

Good morning! My name’s Catarina, it’s a pleasure to meet you all!

Una persona se presenta a sí misma

Me llamo Uriel, ¿y tú cómo te llamas?

Someone introduces himself

My name’s Uriel, what’s your name?

2 ‘Mi nombre es’ + your name

This is the LITERAL translation of ‘my name is’ in English:

mi = my (not to be confused with the pronoun me)

nombre = name

es = is

But it’s somewhat less casual than ‘me llamo’

… for example, you may well hear this phrase at the beginning of a formal introduction.

Un conferencista al inicio de su presentación

¡Hola! Me llamo Fabricio Gómez, y hoy voy a platicarles acerca del Imperio Azteca.

A speaker at the beginning of his presentation

Hello! My name is Fabricio Gómez, and today I’m going to talk to you about the Aztec Empire.

It’s important to note that in most (if not all) Spanish-speaking countries people have two surnames: their father’s surname and their mother’s surname (or maiden name).

A woman may choose to be called by her husband’s surname, but legally she never loses her family surname.

Not only that, but in countries such as Spain and Mexico parents can legally decide on the order of their children’s surnames.

Una nueva estudiante se presenta frente al salón

Mi nombre es Yalitza Jimenez Morales y nací en el puerto de Acapulco.

A new student introduces herself to the class

My name is Yalitza Jimenez Morales and I was born in the port of Acapulco.

3 ‘Soy’ + your name

‘Soy’ means ‘I am’, and just as in English you can respond to ‘Cómo te llamas?’ with a simple ‘soy’ followed by your name.

Orlando – ¿Cómo te llamas?

Marina – Soy Marina, ¿y tú?

Orlando – What’s your name?

Marina – I’m Marina, and you?

Erika’s note – if you’re unsure as to when to use soy’ and ‘estoy, definitely give our article on the subject a quick once over!

4 ‘Dime’ / ‘Llámame’ + your name / nickname

Both ‘dime’ and ‘llámame’ translate to ‘call me’ in English, and you can use them in the same sense, even giving your nickname instead of your full or first name if you so wish!

Un chico presenta a dos de sus amigos

Julián – ¡Qué onda! ¿Cómo te llamas?

Gustavo – ¡Hola! Dime Gus. ¿Y tú?

Julián – ¡Llámame Jules!

A boy introduces two of his friends to each other

Julián – What’s up! What’s your name?

Gustavo – Hey! Call me Gus. And you?

Julián – Call me Jules!

5 ‘Puedes decirme’ + your name

In a similar vein, this one means ‘you can call me’ in English.

puedes = you can

decirme = call me

This phrase is especially useful if your name is difficult to pronounce, and you’d rather not get into the details.

Here’s an example –

Un barista a punto de anotar el nombre del cliente en un vaso

Barista – ¿Cómo se llama?

Francisco – Puedes decirme Paco.

A barista is about to write a customer’s name on a cup

Barista – What’s your name, Sir?

Francisco – You can call me Paco.

6 ‘Me llamo’ + your name + ‘pero me gusta que me digan’ + chosen name or nickname

If you want to get really specific, you can use ‘me llamo’ to let your interlocuter know your birth name, and then add the phrase ‘pero me gusta que me digan’ (‘but I like to be called’) followed by your preferred name or nickname.

¡Hola! Me llamo Constanza, pero me gusta que me digan Sasha.

Hi! My name’s Constanza, but I like to be called Sasha.

7 ‘Me llamo’ + your name + ‘pero me dicen’ + your nickname

‘Pero me dicen’ literally means ‘but they call me’ in English, and it’s pretty handy when you want to let people know your favorite nickname!

Me llamo José Ángel, pero me dicen Pepe.

My name’s José Ángel, but they call me Pepe.

By the way, if you’re in Mexico, you´re sure to hear some great nicknames –

Me llamo Mauricio, pero me dicen ‘El Patas’.

My name’s Mauricio, but they call me ‘El Patas’.

(‘El Patas’ means something along the line of ‘The Paw’)

8 ‘Me llamo’ + your name + ‘y mis pronombres son’ + your pronouns

If you want to let people know which pronouns they may use to address you, just add the phrase ‘y mis pronombres son’, which means ‘and my pronouns are’ in English.

Una maestra conoce a su estudiante

Andrea – ¡Buen día! Soy Andrea, ¿cómo te llamas?

Nuri – Me llamo Nuri, y mis pronombres son ‘ella’ y ‘elle’.

A teacher meets her student

Andrea – Good day! I’m Andrea, what’s your name?

Nuri – My name is Nuri, and my pronouns are ‘her’ and ‘they’.

Final thoughts

Hopefully this list will come in handy when meeting new people in Spanish-speaking countries, whether it be Spain or Latin America!

The locals will want to get acquainted with you right away and they’re sure to really appreciate the effort you’ve made to learn a bit of their language!

Don’t forget to check out our list of all the ways to respond to ‘¿Cuántos años tienes? if you wanna up you conversational Spanish game even more!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Rupert's lived in Mexico for nearly a decade and has been working as a Spanish teacher for even longer (over 10 years now, wow!). He specializes in simple (yet effective) explanations and is a veritable grammar-whizz.

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