Introducing yourself

Yuri_Arcurs/DigitalVision/Getty Images

by Kate Woodford

A visitor to this website recently asked for the sort of phrases he might use when introducing himself to people, for example in an English class. We thought we would write a blog post on the subject.

Starting with the most important piece of information, we could say ‘I’m Maria Gonzalez.’ or ‘My name is Maria Gonzalez.’ If we want to say how old we are, we simply say ‘I’m twenty-three.’ or ‘I’m twenty-three years old.’ Then we might say, for example, ‘I’m Spanish.’ or ‘I’m from Spain.’ To give more detail about where we live, we could say ‘I’m from Valencia in Spain.’ or even ‘I’m from Valencia, on the east coast of Spain.’

If we live somewhere different now, we might like to add this information by saying, for example ‘I was born in Valencia, but I live in Madrid now.’ (Notice the tense here ‘I was born.’) If the place we are living in now is only temporary (=for a short time) we express this by saying, for example, ‘I’m studying in Madrid for six months.’ (Notice that present continuous tense ‘am studying’ for an activity that the speaker is doing at the moment.)

We might like to talk about our family, in which case we might say, ‘I live with my parents and my younger brother.’ We could add, ‘I also have an older sister who lives in France.’

If we work, we might talk briefly about this, saying, for example, ‘I’m a teacher.’ or ‘I work as a teacher.’

When we meet other people for the first time, it is sometimes nice to tell them a little about ourselves – our interests and what we like to do in our spare time. There are various ways to do this:

I like playing tennis in my spare time. / I play a lot of tennis.

I like reading. / I’m a keen reader.

I’m a big fan of Real Madrid.

If we are in an English class, we might explain why we are learning English. We might say, for example, ‘I’m learning English because I need it for my job/my studies.’ or we might say ‘I’m learning English because it’s useful for travelling.’ It’s possible that we simply want to say ‘I’m learning English because I enjoy learning languages.’

We hope this has given you a few phrases to use when you are meeting new people.

22 thoughts on “Introducing yourself

  1. Maria Eliana González

    Dear Kate,
    Thank you for this article.
    My name is María Eliana González and I am from Chile. I work as an assistant to the Head of Primary in a British School.
    My question is the following…. in Chile, it is customary to greet people in an email, and then we introduce the reason why you are writing.
    As far as I know, you do not do that in England. But in order not to go straight to the point, how could you greet them….

    1. Ravi

      I’m wholly over the moon to read this article. Because I have made this one but (mine is so extended) for my students. Thanks a billion.

    2. It is customary to greet when you come across some one ,you reply in writing or initiate a letter. No body would , I am sure he or she may be from any where, any set of life , any section , any religion, any of race or any part of life. No one would ever mind or disapprove it. . It is a very good practice always follow it Regards,

    3. It is customary to greet when you come across some one ,you reply in writing or initiate a letter. No body would ever mind. I am sure he or she may be from any where, any set of population or life , any section , any religion, any race or any part of life. No one would ever mind or disapprove it. . It is a very good practice always follow it Regards,

    4. Kate Woodford

      Hi Maria Eliana. Thanks for this. Yes, in English we would also greet the person first before explaining who we are (if they don’t already know) and then saying why we are emailing them. I hope that answers your question. Best wishes.

  2. pauline scantlebury

    I am wondering, if perhaps, it should be “oneself” rather than “yourself”. If not, when is it appropriate to use “oneself”?

    1. Kate Woodford

      Hello Pauline. Thanks for this. Yes, ‘oneself’ would be correct, but it sounds a little formal for a blog post like this which is fairly conversational in style. Best wishes!

  3. Satyabrata

    Tips given by Kate Woodford are important for beginners in English learning.It also describes as how to introduce oneself among
    people we meet for the first time.it’s quite a relevant piece of primary lesson.
    Satyabrata

  4. Ratnayake

    Dear Kate,
    Your blog about “introducing yourself” is very informative.I remember how I struggled in introducing my self when I appeared first time in classes when I was young.So I determined to share these sentences with my kids today itself.Keep your good work up .Moreover, it would be great if you post a blog about how we should be introduced in office environment.Such as we introduce our selves to a newly recruited employee.
    Thank you.

  5. Zhangqi

    Hi l am Zhang qi l am from China l am 53 year old. I’m learning English now. Because it’s good for travel and make friends.

  6. Arin

    Hi, my name is Arin. Very happy to see this article. It helps me a lot to learn about introducing myself to the blog of mine.
    Thank you so much, Kate..

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