"Was ist dein Vorname?"

Translation:What is your first name?

January 20, 2013



What is the difference between Wie ist dein Name and Was ist dein Name?

October 17, 2014


I wouldn't ask someone "Wie ist dein Name?" because wie means how, so Wie ist dein Name? translates to: How is your name? and then the other person could answer something like "my name is doing pretty well". However, you can ask "Wie heißt du?" (informal) or "Wie heißen Sie?" (formal).

January 14, 2015


According to another source, "Wie ist dein Vorname?" (Name, in your cases) is actually still used in German as a strange oddity despite falling out of use in English. That being said, for the sake of all of us who want to learn German, I think "Was ist dein Vorname?" is better as it is one less anomaly to memorize and should still make sense to a native German speaker.

April 30, 2015


"Was ist dein Vorname" is not wrong, and people will understand you, but it's very strange to say. Nobody says that. "Wie ist dein Vorname" is much better.

  • the German guy sitting next to me.
May 11, 2015


Exactly. We have to remember that languages do not translate 1:1, and what seems odd in direct machine translation to English may not be odd in another language. I have spoken to many people from many different areas who all near-instinctively use "how" rather than "what" until they're corrected (and even then might use "how" unconsciously - "how is your name?" "How is your town called?")

May 17, 2015


I entered 'forename' instead of 'first name' and lost a heart...but they mean the same thing.

February 12, 2013


I have never heard anyone call a first name a "forename", but that just means it is not common. Is that a British way of talking?

August 24, 2014

  • 1644

It's a legitimate English word and means "first name." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forename

June 14, 2015


Me too, I've never heard forename. It's probably a different dialect. #DIALECTPROBLEMS

February 26, 2015


Forename, and correspondingly Surname (meaning last name) is very common in British Standard English in every day usage as well as in terms of official form filling etc. ... I also used forename, for British users it would greatly help if it was accepted

July 18, 2018


I really wish it would accept "forename". Obviously "vor" is where the suffic "fore" came from in English.

For me it really helps to figure out the literal translation and remember that. Like, the German word for pet is literaly house-animal.

October 13, 2014


Slight nitpick, fore- and vor- both came from a common ancestor, fore- is not a descendant of vor-

March 13, 2015


When meeting a new person, is it strange to ask "Was ist dein Vorname?" Also, Is it appropriate to simply ask "Was ist dein Name?" or is it better to use "Wie heißen Sie?"

February 21, 2013


Better to use Wie heissen SIe. Also, normally one would ask Wie ist dein Name, not Was...

April 6, 2013


I was also wondering if it is not presumptuous to ask someone who has not volunteered their name, Perhaps I wish to be called, "Mrs. X" or "Mrs. Professsor X" and not, "hey, Annie...'

November 29, 2014


Mr. F

March 27, 2015


Earlier in Duolingo I got the sentence, "Wie ist dein Vorname?" translating to the exact same English question. Which one is used more in German?

January 25, 2014


It’s a subtle difference. “Was ist dein Vorname?” (what) would be used as when somebody is asking you your name for the first time, while “Wie ist dein Vorname?” (how) sounds a bit more like asking how you say it or write it exactly, as if the person hadn’t understood it at first.

March 21, 2014


What's the difference between "Vorname" and "Vornamen"? A few questions back, I got "Ich kenne deinen Vornamen", but now this question is "Was ist dein Vorname?" What's going on here? I tried inputting "Ich kenne deinen Vorname", and Duo was all like "Nope. You're wrong, bud. Shoulda' been Vornamen."

August 23, 2015


"Vorname" is a weak noun that gets an -n ending in all cases except nominative. It's nominative here, but "ich kenne deinen Vornamen" is accusative (as you probably already know), so it needs the -n ending. There's more about it here.

August 23, 2015


Thanks! Can you possibly provide a link or something with more information about "weak" nouns? And are there also "strong" nouns? Or would those just be regular, non-weak nouns?

August 24, 2015


The last sentence of my above post is a link to a page about it. Here's another one: http://www.vistawide.com/german/grammar/german_nouns03.htm

And I don't think About explain it very well, but you might prefer their table-light approach: http://german.about.com/od/grammar/a/dernouns.htm

August 25, 2015


I don't need it, but many of you here could: "zwiter Vorname - middle name".

February 24, 2015


sure, thanks for the correction

February 27, 2015


Why not 'deine Vorname', again? Thinking 'Vorname' is feminine so it should be 'eine', 'deine' etc.

January 20, 2013


"Vorname" is masculine, as are "Name" and "Nachname" (last name). That's why it's "dein Vorname."

January 20, 2013


Ah, thanks for the clarification. Still having difficulties remembering the exceptions to the 'ends with e is feminine' rule.

January 23, 2013


There is no such rule. In German, masculine nouns are turned into feminine by adding "in" at the end. For example, Lehrer - Lehrerin

April 6, 2013


Only the middle link works now, which redirects to here:


January 10, 2019


If I learned it correctly, whenever you have a "composite noun", the gender is the gender of the original noun. For example: der saft, der orangenSAFT or der name der vorNAME ...

April 5, 2015


Don't complain if you haven't reported. You'll help us all.

December 29, 2013


When saying my name is, should it be Mein Name ist ... or Mein Vorname ist? *not sure if it's mein or meine here, sorry

March 9, 2015


You would use "Ich heiße". For your second question, it's "mein" for Name / Vorname because they are masculine words. Der Name, Der Vorname.

March 27, 2015


I put "which" instead of "what". What is wrong, please?

September 13, 2016


"Which is your name?" simply doesn't work in English (it's too closed for someone to answer with their name, for one thing - but even if you were trying to match a guest to a guestlist you'd be likelier to ask "who are you?" or "what's your name?"; "which is your name?" always sounds odd). "Was" can be translated as "which" in other contexts, but we always have to take context into account.

September 14, 2016


Thank you for your answer. My English is not as good as I like it to be, but it's the only language available for learning other languages with Duolingo. I hope to improve it while learning German

September 14, 2016


Why can't I just say 'What is your name'?

October 17, 2016


The German has specified "Vorname" even though just "Name" (or alternatively, "wie heißt du?") is fine, so we need to do the same in English too.

October 18, 2016


Thanks :)

October 18, 2016



February 2, 2019
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