The Difference between "¿Cómo te llamas?" and "¿Cómo se llama?"

Quick Answer

¿Cómo te llamas?  = What's your name? (informal)

¿Cómo se llama?  = What's your name? (formal), What's his/her/its name?, or What's it called?

vs. Usted

You is translated into Spanish in many different ways. Use the handy table below to help you decide which form you need to use.

FormUsed WithSpanish
(Informal second person singular)a single person who is the same age as you or younger¿Cómo te llamas?
Usted (Formal second person singular)a single person who is older than you or to whom you want to show respect¿Cómo se llama?
¡Oye, chamaco! ¿Cómo te llamas?
Hey, kid! What's your name?
 
Buenos días, señor. ¿Cómo se llama?
Good morning, sir. What's your name?
 

Looking for more on the different ways to say you in Spanish? Check out our article here!

Formal You vs. He/She/It

¿Cómo se llama? is used for directly asking someone his or her name, as well as for asking someone for the name of a third person or thing.

Buenos días, señor. ¿Cómo se llama?
Good morning, sir. What's your name?
 
Ella es la hermana de Miguel. - ¿Cómo se llama?
That's Miguel's sister. - What's her name?
 
¿Conoces el primo de Laura? - No sé. ¿Cómo se llama?
Do you know Laura's cousin? - I don't know. What's his name?
 
Fuimos a un restaurante bien padre anoche. - ¿Cómo se llama?
We went to a really cool restaurant last night. - What's its name?
 
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