The Difference Between "¿Cómo Te Llamas?" and "¿Cómo Se Llama?"
Tú vs. Usted
The singular you can be translated into Spanish in many different ways. The two most common ways are tú and usted. Check out the table below for information on which one you should use to ask someone for their name.
|Form||Used With||How to Ask For Someone's Name|
|Tú (informal second person singular)||a person who is the same age as you or younger||¿Cómo te llamas?|
|Usted fFormal second person singular)||a person who is older than you or to whom you want to show respect||¿Cómo se llama?|
Check out these examples, paying attention to the relationship between the speaker and listener.
In the first example, the speaker appears to be older than the listener, so he/she uses ¿Cómo te llamas? to ask the listener his name.
In the second example, the speaker appears to be younger than the listener, so he/she uses ¿Cómo se llama? to ask the listener her name.
Formal You vs. He/She/It
¿Cómo se llama? can be used for directly asking someone his or her name, as well as for asking about the name of a person or thing.
The example below shows ¿Cómo se llama? being used to directly (formally) ask someone his name.
The following examples show ¿Cómo se llama? being used to ask the name of a third person or the name of a thing.