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If someone says,

あなた は Chris-さん です か。
Are you Chris?

Do you answer

Chris です


Chris-さん です

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This is actually a border-line dupe: When should one add -san at the end of a name? – Tsuyoshi Ito Jun 6 '11 at 21:44
up vote 21 down vote accepted

Chris です。

さん is never used (except jokingly perhaps) to refer to oneself. The same goes for other common endings such as くん, ちゃん, さま, 先輩 and 先生.

That's because these endings usually convey a kind of relation: for instance, さま conveys respect, くん and ちゃん convey some endearment and while さん conveys very little meaning, it does convey separation. You can't use さん on yourself because it's pointless to specify your relation to yourself. And this is even truer for the other endings.

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Fantastic answer! I thought it was without, but I really needed to confirm. Thankyou. – Chris Jun 6 '11 at 21:04
Yeah, it's understandable. As far as I can tell, in English you can quote and say "Yeah, I'm Mr. so-and-so." - but that doesn't seem to work in Japanese. – Boaz Yaniv Jun 6 '11 at 21:12
Adding my two cents: The only people I've heard say "[Own name]さん" were men over 60 when introducing themselves. I'm not sure if it was a joke, but no one laughed. – Anonymous Sep 24 '14 at 1:23

Unless it is some sort of elaborate joke, you should not put -さん after your name.

Maybe a story could be helpful...

Once when writing the minutes (議事録 gijiroku) of a meeting, I had to write the list of the participants at the meeting. I wrote it like this, and then sent the email.


As soon I sent this email, the reaction from my coworkers was: "LOL, he put さん to his own name". And tons of 指摘 shiteki afterwards.

So yeah, you should never put -san after your name unless you're trying to be funny. If you want to try to be funny, send an email within the mailing list to another coworker without putting -san to his name. Lots of shiteki guaranteed.

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