Just a thought, but wouldn't it make more sense to say "я Вера, а как тебя зовут?" Instead of "я Вера, а тебя как зовут?". I just don't understand why it is on that order, because I always learned "what is your name?" As "Как тебя зовут". If someone could enlighten me that would be wonderful.
Hello, John. I'll try to answer your question. Actually, the opposite (without the а) can seem condescending in Russian. I'm from Uzbekistan and in uzbek too, it's like a necessity to use it to mean that "I told you my name, now it's your turn to tell yours". For example, -Ты был в Париже? (Have you been to Paris?) -Нет, а ты? (No, and you?) To tell the truth, I find it a little difficult to explain. I'd love native speakers to help out.
This is just a feeling based simply on the fact of the different treatment of "and" = "a" in the two languages - that without the "a", the Russian sounds more commanding, as if the speaker were demanding to know the person's name, and thus setting himself/herself in a high social status, which gives the authority to demand names (like a policeman or a government agent or a prince/princess or King/Queen. Just a hunch (notion), though.
Whether it's condescending or not depends on the context and tone of voice. I often hear it used in a way it conveys the eagerness of the person to learn about your experience, a positive interest and care. In Polish the construction is exactly the same with "а ты?" which equals "what about you?".
why "а тебя как зовут?" and not "а как тебя зовут?" as fas a I know we say "как тебя зовут?" if we want to ask somebody's name. I don't understand the sentence order, can somone perhaps enlighten me? And also I'm a little bit confused with Russian sentence order in general. Thank you