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1.2: Introducing ourselves and showing levels of formality

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    Asking someone´s name and telling them ours:

    •¡Hola, clase! Me llamo Annette Gillum.

    •¿Cómo te llamas tú?

    🞂Follow my example to tell us your name.

    🞂How do we tell each other our names? In addition to the above structure there are other possibilities.

    • Yo soy Annette.
    • Mi nombre es Annette.


    Let´s listen to some native speakers introducing themselves in Spanish. Just listen through minute 1:00 for now.

    Thinking about the grammar: El verbo llamarse; formality

    What does ¨Me llamo Annette¨ literally mean?

    • It is not ¨My name is Annette¨, but rather ¨I call myself Annette. ¨That is why there is no verb ¨to be¨ used in the structure.

    Is ¨¿Cómo te llamas?¨ formal or informal?

    • It is informal.

    How do you ask the question more formally?

    • ¿Cómo se llama usted?
    Nota cultural

    How do you know whether to speak formally or informally?

    • It depends on the culture and the context. Some cultures (Spain, for example) are less formal than others. A general rule is to speak formally with anyone whom you would address with a title (Mr., Mrs, Dr., etc.) and with anyone you don´t know yet. When in doubt, use formal until you are asked to do otherwise or until you are on a first name basis.Do we use formal or informal in this class?
    • I believe in creating an informal, comfortable classroom environment in which we can get to know each other and begin to form friendships using Spanish. For this reason, I would say the ¨tú¨ form is appropriate among classmates.
    • In most countries students would speak formally with their instructors. In Spain, students are more likely to speak informally with them and use their first names. I don't mind either way, but you may want to use ¨tú¨ with classmates and ¨usted¨ with your instructor, so that you get practice using both formal and informal. In any case, be aware that in some cultures it may be considered inappropriate to speak informally with your instructors. I would recommend you ask your instructor what they prefer at the beginning of the semester.
    Query \(\PageIndex{1}\)



    Watch the following video through 0:40

    ¿De dónde somos? - Where are we from?

    Yo soy de Los Estados Unidos.

    ¿De dónde eres tú? (¿Eres de Los Estados Unidos? ¿De México? ¿De Canadá? ¿De España? ¿Eres de California? ¿De Tejas? ¿De La Florida?)

    Listen to the following video through 4:45. You won´t understand everything, but it is important to hear people from different accents from different places from the beginning of your language learning journey.

    Meeting each other politely

    • How can you say, ¨Nice to meet you¨?
      • Mucho gusto en conocerte. (informal)
      • Mucho gusto en conocerlo/la. (formal) (¨Lo¨ if you are talking to a male and ¨la¨ if you are talking to a female.)
      • Encantado/a. (End it in ¨o¨ if you are male and ¨a¨ if you are female.)
    • How can you reply?
      • El gusto es mío. (The pleasure is mine).
      • Encantado/a. (Enchanted.)
      • Igualmente. (literally – Equally. We would say ¨Likewise¨ in English.)
    Actividad comunicativa: Meeting each other

    Ask three different students their names and where they are from. Be sure to say that it is nice to meet them, or reply to them saying that to you.

    En línea - If you are taking the class online, you may want to arrange to practice with a classmate, join an online session to practice with your instructor and other classmates, or find someone outside of class with whom to practice.

    1.2: Introducing ourselves and showing levels of formality is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.