What is his name?

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Janey UK, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Janey UK

    Janey UK Senior Member

    Norfolk, England
    Native speaker of British English
    Mi dispiace, questa è una domanda molto rudimentale!

    If ‘what is your name?’ is ‘come si chiama?’ how do I say ‘What is HIS name?’

    Mille grazie, Jane
  2. winnie

    winnie Senior Member

    italy, italian
    In the same way!

    Confusion rises because in English you use 'your' as formal address while in Italian we use 'lei' which behaves as the third singular person.

    So asking in formal way to an unknown people:
    'what's your name?' = come (lei implied) si chiama?
    but asking in informal way:
    'what's your name?' (second singular) = come ti chiami?
    'what is his name?' = come si chiama (lui implied)?
    Please note the difference between formal 'lei' and 'lui (third singular person)'. Lei is used for male/female people in formal addressing while lei/lui is specific for the thir singular person.
    Hope this is not much confusing.
  3. shamblesuk

    shamblesuk Senior Member

    England, English
    You'll get the answer from others but think about the construction.

    Come si chiama? means What does one call oneself? It's formal. If it's informal Come ti chiami - note the construction change on chiamare.

    Reflexive verbs are fundamental to Italian so the quicker you learn them the better.

  4. Janey UK

    Janey UK Senior Member

    Norfolk, England
    Native speaker of British English
    Ah, I see! Grazie mille!

  5. Lu_international Member

    Italian - Spain
    Come si chiama doesn't mean What does one call oneself, it means What's your name (formal way), If you say it in formal way you're asking what is the name of the person you're talking to.

    Come MI chiamo? (what is my name?)
    Come TI chiami? (what is your name?)
    Come SI chiama? (what is your name FORMAL)
    Come SI chiama? (what is his name? What is her name?)
    Come CI chiamamo? (what is our name?)
    Come VI chiamate? (what is your name PLURAL)
    Come SI chiamano? (what is their name?)

    bye ^^
  6. Saoul

    Saoul Senior Member

    Spain, Valencia
    Lu_international, I think that Lee, who is quite familiar with these basic expressions, and with a lot of more complicated ones, just wanted to show Janey the construction of the sentence.

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