Culture(s) / Giving your surname and given name in the correct order

A1 Breakthrough

In your culture, when speaking what order do you put the words in when you introduce yourself? The surname or the given name?

In French, the given name is usually said before the surname.
In answer to the question: "Quel est ton nom ?" (informal) or "Quel est votre nom ?" (formal), you must say your given name before your surname.

However, when writing in a formal or administrative context, you put the surname before the given name.

The most frequent questions used to ask someone’s given name and surname are:
- Quel est ton / votre nom ?
- Comment t’appelles-tu / vous appelez-vous ?
- Tu t’appelles comment ? (informal)
- Votre nom ? Votre prénom ? (administrative)

The answers are: Je m’appelle Jean (Dubois) – Mon nom est Jean (Dubois) – Jean (Dubois).

The convention in formal situations is to say the given name and surname. However, in informal situations like a party at a friend’s house, French-speakers introduce themselves using only their given name.
Be careful; when introducing themselves, French-speakers never give their title (Dr, Monsieur, Madame) in front of their surname!

Practical exercises

Bienvenue !

8 exercises
Look • Listen • Vocabulary (everyday life / greetings, everyday life / urban lifestyle) • Grammar • Intercultural (communication / initial contacts)

Culture(s): Giving your given name and surname in the correct order

4 exercises
Look • Intercultural (communication / initial contacts)