Consider the following sentence:

watashi-no namae-wa rhino desu.

Would a native speaker use this form, as opposed to ”[私]{わたし}はライノーです” or ”[名前]{なまえ}ライノーです”?

An acquaintance of mine (not a native speaker either) claims that the former would sound unnatural and, although grammatically correct, would rarely be preferred over the latter two.

Other than that (given my example sounds right), am I correct in the assumption that the first form is the most polite, while the second is slightly less polite and the third one would be used only in casual conversations?

  • The Wnn IME (that used to be the 'standard' IME for Unix computers) used 私の名前は中野です as a test phrase, so I'd reckon it is a fairly natural phrasing.
    – oals
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 19:15
  • In principle you could both be right, because "natural" is highly context-dependent, so there might be no way of settling the question without providing a specific context.
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 19:20
  • 1
    @oals So is that how you'd introduce yourself to people in real life? 「私の名前は中野です」? Not usually...
    – Robin
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 19:49
  • 1
    @Ash No, I wouldn't use any of the three options in this post. I'd use 「中野です」 or 「中野と言います」 or 「中野と申します」
    – oals
    Commented Feb 27, 2016 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


Both '私の名前はライノーです' and '私はライノーです' are correct, but '名前ライノーです' is awkward and grammatically incorrect. I think '私の名前はライノーです' sounds a bit too formal, and '私はライノーです' is more commonly used.

When you are introducing yourself to somebody for the first meet, you say simply 'ライノーです', or 'ライノーと申します.' Usually you give your family name. I don’t introduce myself by my first name when I meet someone for the first time.

When you begin with your self-introduction at meeting or in speech, you say '私はXX ・ライノーです (or reverse of it)' or 'ライノー・XXと申します.' You give your full name, or sometimes can give only the surname, like "只今ご紹介がありました田中(一郎)でございます - My name is Tanaka (Ichiro) as just being introduced by the MC."

When you are knocking somebody’s door and asked “どなたですか?,” you say “ライノーです”.

When you are asked your full name by police on speed, you say “姓はライノー、名前はXX (or reverse of it) です".

  • "When you are asked your full name by police on speed" - does "on speed" mean "when you've been pulled over for speeding"?
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 4:26
  • 1
    Yes. I meant 'speeding' Commented May 13, 2018 at 23:35

In my (admittedly limited) experience with Japanese introductions, this is a correct phrase, but it is not the most natural.

The most common way to introduce yourself is to say "XYZです". Both the 私 and the 名前 parts are obvious from context, and should be left out unless you have a reason to add them.

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