Sharing Your Name Preference When Introducing Yourself in English
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A great time to share your name preferences with people is while introducing yourself in English. If you prefer people call you by your initials, nickname, or another name, you should let them know! Often, Americans are used to learning people's name preferences, so don't be shy to share that information with them!

Today I wanted to share with you some ways of introducing yourself, specifically when you want to have someone call you by a certain name. If you have a preference with how people should call you, then we have a lot of different ways of doing that in English, and this is something that people will ask you, whether it be on a form, but more likely in person when they meet you they'll ask you what your preference is because that's important for them to be able to identify you in terms of how you want to be addressed, and it's also your own preference with how people should be communicating with you. So if you're ready, let's get started.

So the first one is, I go by, so you might say, My name is Mary Daphne, but I go by MD for example. I actually go by both. I go by Mary Daphne and I also go by MD. But if someone else said, my name is Samuel, but I go by Sam, or my name is Charles, but I go by Charlie, or my name is Matilda, but I go by Mattie.

 So it's really about how you prefer to be addressed. Okay. That's the first one I go by. 

The second one is you can call me. So my name is Josie, but you can call me Jo. You can also add for short at the end of that. For example, my name is Maria Luisa, but you may call me Luisa for short, or you may call me ML for short.

The next one is I go by my middle name, so maybe you prefer your middle name to your first name. You might just decide that you want to be called by your middle name. For example, if your name is Henry James, and then your last name, maybe you just like to be called James and not Henry. In the us if you have two first names or if you have a first name and a middle name, but you prefer to be called by your middle name, or you prefer to be called by both of your names, then you probably should specify that because otherwise, the default is to just go with the first name that they see there. So if it's the first name and then your middle name, but the first name is what pops out, that's what people are going to call you. So unless you specify your preference, they're probably going to just call you by your first name. So that's something to keep in mind. This is at least in the US context. I don't know how it is for you in your L 1 culture share that with me, but in the US context, this is what you can expect.

Friends just call me. So you might say, I'm Sally, but I prefer to be called Sal. So I'm Sally, but I prefer sell or I prefer to be called Sal, you don't have to say, I prefer to be called, but you can if you wanted to specify even further. You can just say, I'm x, but I prefer to be called Y. And you plug in your name and your preferred name. This could also be a nickname. It could be initials, it could be another derivative of your name. Maybe there's a different way of saying it, and that's your preference.

So you can just share that with people.

Everyone calls me, dot, dot, dot. Everyone calls me, dot, dot, dot. So I am blank, but everyone calls me dot, dot, dot. And obviously we're not saying that your name is blank and that your name is dot, dot, dot, but I'm putting blank in there so that you know, it's a placeholder for your own name. And then dot, dot dot would be whatever preference you have for your name.

Most people know me as. Most people know me as. Now, this one's a little funny because this one assumes that most people know you. In other words, you're a personality somewhere, or maybe you're a YouTube star, or maybe you're a TV anchor, or maybe you're a well known business person or an entrepreneur or someone famous, essentially, right?

So. You don't really hear this one that often, but I wanted to include it just that you would know it. And if you are famous, maybe you want to use this, but most people know me as, or most people call me, you probably will get more of the, most people call me because that's saying, it's not really my preference, but this is how people address me mostly.

In other words, other people named me, right? I didn't choose this, but this is what people call me, For example, Jennifer Lopez. My understanding is that her fans called her, labeled her JLo. They gave her the name JLo. She didn't say, Hi, I'm Jennifer Lopez, but my name is JLo. Maybe now she does, but when that name first came out, her nickname, it was her fans that gave that to her as a term of endearment, as a way of showing their love for her, I guess. So in that case, you could say, my name is Jennifer Lopez, but most people call me JLo, or most people know me as JLo. The other thing is if for some reason you're a famous person, but you go by your pseudonym or your pen name or your YouTube name, then you might say, You know, "you might actually know me as", and then you give your YouTube name for example. If your YouTube name somehow is not your official name, I guess, or the name that you were born with, then you might specify that, and in which case, they might know you from that, right? The profile name.

So if you prefer to be just going by your initials, for example, hi, I'm Devon Winnifred, but I just go by my initials. DW. , then, you know, you'll just go by your initials. Maybe you have two first names, or you love your first and middle name, but you actually prefer your initials more, and it's just easier for people than you can just say, I'm DW, or whatever your initials are.

Initials are pretty common in the US in terms of. Calling people by them. A lot of close friends will call each other by their initials in a lot of social groups. The other thing people do in the US is call each other by their last names. This is particularly true in sports teams. So if your last name is Smith, they might just call you Smith, even though your first name is Jeff or John or whatever. They'll just say, 

"Hey Smith, I'll see you later at the game!"

So in some cases you might say " I'm John Smith, or I'm Jen Smith, but everyone calls me by my last name Smith. Everyone calls me Smith." And that might be your last name, but that might be the name that you prefer to be called. And that's totally fine. Whatever your preference is. People want to know it, they want to respect it, and they want to honor it and call you that.

And the last one is, I'm blank but you can call me blank instead. So this is an interesting case where you might have changed your name officially. Maybe you don't like the name that you were born with, or maybe it's not a true reflection of what you think is your, innermost self or your identity.

That's your choice, right? So if you change your name or you're planning to change your name, then you might say, I'm Liz, but I prefer to be called Madison. If you completely changed your name, then you might say, I'm Liz, but I prefer to be called Madison, so you can just call me Madison. Or you might just go directly to the name that you changed it to, right? Officially or unofficially. 

But if you say, My name is Liz, but I prefer to be called Eliza. That's fine too. That might be a derivative, Liz, Eliza. That could be, a similar type of name. You might specify it that way, but the point is, this is your name. People are going to call you by what name you like to be called by, and you need to make that clear at the get go. This is particularly true when you're meeting someone for the first time, or maybe it's the second time you meet them and you can introduce yourself and then say what you prefer to be called.

That makes it a lot easier for people to remember your name because there's a little interaction around it. It's not just. I'm Joe. I'm Jill. Nice to meet you. It's I'm Joe, but I prefer if you call me Joseph, or I'm Jill and I prefer if you call me Jay or whatever. I'm just giving some examples here. So for you specifically, let's say you have a name that maybe is difficult to pronounce in English.

Maybe you chose a name that has similar meaning to the meaning that you have in your own L1. Maybe it has a similar meaning in your L2. Let's say your L2 is English and you go by that name. Or maybe you come up with a totally different name. Maybe you have an English name that has nothing to do with your name in your L1 culture.

So that's also, your choice. And if you feel like it's easier for people to pronounce that name more correctly, and you don't want to go through all the hassle of, maybe it's a hassle. I don't know if for you, you feel like you want people to just call you by something that's going to be easy for them, then maybe that's your choice.

And if not, maybe you do have a complicated name for someone that they can't pronounce. Maybe it's not complicated for you, but for the person who can't pronounce it, maybe it's complicated for them. Then you might just say, you can call me by my initials. Or you can maybe walk them through the pronunciation, give them a little bit of a pronunciation tutorial.

All of that is fine. It's your name, you decide how you want to be called, and then share that with people. Tell people so that they can honor you and respect you as you deserve to be honored and respected.

All right, so we talked about different ways of sharing your preference when it comes to your names. And again, this can come up in introductions or early meetings with friends or colleagues or coworkers or clients, whoever you're interacting with, and you want to make sure that they know your name, that they're clear on it, so that they're going to be more able to connect with you, to communicate with you easily, to reach out when they need to.

And your name is top of mind for them because again, you had a little discussion about it and it's more memorable that way in a lot of ways. Because again, people forget names rather easily, and so if you can give them a reason to remember it by being a little bit memorable, then go for it. Go for that because that way they really are able to remember your name.

All right, advanced English learners. Thank you so much for joining me for this lesson. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you did, give it a big thumbs up if you're watching on YouTube, and definitely leave us a nice review on the podcast. If you are watching and listening on Spotify, for example, that would be great.

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All right. Thank you so much for joining me again, and I will see you next time where we're going to continue advancing your English together until thank you of the awesome work, and I will see you very, very soon. Bye for now.

About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive skills and professional development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

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