"Nice to meet you, my name is John."


June 6, 2017



ジョンです is "I'm John". ジョンといいます Is "people call me John" or "call me John". Something like that.

June 6, 2017


Could you use this to tell someone your nickname? Something like クリスです、キドクマといいます. Make any sense at all?

May 15, 2018


One possibility: クリスです. キドクマとよんでください。(Chris desu. KidKuma to yonde kudasai.) Translates as "I am Chris. Please call me KidKuma.

May 15, 2018


I just wanted to clarify for @kidkuma that the typical usage of ~といいます is different from your suggestion, which is very natural.

Typically, one would use either ~です OR ~といいます, but not both. Which one you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference, but as @Cecil164832 pointed out in another comment, the meaning of いいます is "saying", so an example situation where it might be natural to use it instead of です is if you write your name on the board before introducing yourself, i.e. "I'm your new English teacher {writes "Chris" on the board} "Chris"といいます."

July 18, 2018


Is the 'u' at the end silent? For example: desu and masu

April 12, 2019


I believe it's an accent thing, but yeah I've heard people not say the u

April 13, 2019


It's definitely an accent thing, but the standard Japanese accent does not pronounce the "u"at the end of です or ます.

(I just wanted to make it clear, because your comment makes it sound like "not say[ing] the u" is uncommon, when it's precisely the opposite.)

April 13, 2019


It's not so much that it's not pronounced...it's just barely pronounced, like a tiny puff of air from the back of the throat that's really not audible...but it's there.

April 13, 2019


Yes... といいます literally just means "[noun] is said." いう (to say) put into BII is turned into いい which then has ますput on the end, だから、「といいます」です。

October 5, 2018


so is ます the verb "to call" and is といい the complement "people"?

April 15, 2018


masu (ます) is the present and future tense polite positive form of verbs. So with taberu (食べる), "to eat," tabemasu (食べます) means "am eating" or "will eat." The verb here is iu (言う)"to say." "imasu" (言ます) means "saying."

April 15, 2018


Hello Cecil, picking up from you explanation of the verbs I have to questions I was hoping you could help me with:

First, I tried using google translate to separate (といいます) in parts and what I got is that と means 'and' and 'to', and とい means 'to' aswell. I can't wrap around my head where in といいます is 'name' or 'called' mentioned. ―whoops at this moment while writting my question I thought about checking "といいる" which is the verb "to call", so following your explanation of how -ます works I'm guessing "といいます" means something like "call me this way from now on".

My second question though, you mentioned that the verb いう is "to say", but I thought that verbs always ended with る , is there a rule that explains this? or is it just an exception?

Thank you !

February 24, 2019


と means "and" but it is also used as a quotation particle. In this case the word "John" is what is being said.

「言います・いいます」is the polite non-past form of 言う (informal non-past/dictionary form) "iu - to say"
A more literal translation would be "(someone) says "John" ". Similar to how we would say "(they) call me "John""

All verbs end in an "u" and are separated into three categories:
"Ichidan" verbs always end in iru/eru - when conjugated they tend to stay consistent with the ending Ru being dropped and the new ending being added on. So words like "taberu" - eat would simply drop "ru" and add "masu" to become "tabemasu" in polite form.

"Godan" verbs end in any other form of u (u, mu, su, bu, fu, tsu, nu, ku, gu, aru, uru, oru, etc.). These have slightly different conjugation rules. For "iu - say" the "u" sound becomes an "i" sound and then "masu" is added so "iu" becomes "iimasu"

Then there are two irregular verbs する - to do and くる - to come. These verbs change completely when conjugated. (Polite forms します and きます respectively.) There are only two of them though and they're very common so remembering them shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

Don't stress out too much with ichidan vs godan verbs right away as they aren't drastically different in simpler conjugations, but they will become very important when learning the -te (imperative and continuous tense) form.

February 24, 2019


this was super helpful and insightful ! ありがとう!

February 25, 2019


A bit late to the party but I dont understand when to use ~といいます and when to use just ~ます Edit: not ~ます but ~です

です means "is/am" right? so ジョンです would be I am john.

March 27, 2019


Why not use desu here?

June 6, 2017


です can be used, but ジョンです means "I am John" whereas ジョンといいます is closer to "I am called John".

June 8, 2017



June 8, 2017


What is the difference between といいます and ともいいます? I am called and I am also called?

June 8, 2017


Essentially, yeah. There are other more common ways to say things along the lines of "I'm also known as", but I can't see anything grammatically wrong with your translation.

July 13, 2017


も used in this example means "also" and can be applied like that to a lot of situations. So, 「ジョンといいます、かれもジョンといいます。」 Would be, "I'm John. He is also called John."

December 17, 2018


I have no clue what I'm doing... I keep guessing the sentence structures... I feel so discouraged

June 21, 2017


Essentially topic + extra stuff + verb. Names I don't quite understand because it appears we can jusy say name + verb(name is), which I don't get, but the general sturcture is pretty uniform.

Later on, things can change depending on how you word stuff, but for now just keep in mind topic+stuff+verb

June 22, 2017


That's a pretty good way to think about it.

Names work because the topic is omitted, and "name" becomes part of the extra stuff. The full sentence in this exercise would be 私はジョンといいます. 私 ("I/me") is marked as the topic by は, ジョン ("John") is marked as the quoted thing by と, and the verb is いいます ("to be called/named"). Similarly, ジョンです in full is 私はジョンです.

September 1, 2017


Look up the LingoDeer app - its really great for grammar!

February 21, 2018


I highly agree. But if I spend too much time on it, my Japanese becomes OVERLY rigid. I am finding as I get further in Lingodeer, I'm starting to appreciate Duolingo's informal lessons. I feel like I need both to study literary and practical Japanese. Both have gaps filled by the other.

April 19, 2018


Wouldn't the closest thing be "私の名前はジョンです"? Since thag means My name is John? Or isn't it common to phrasd it like that in Japan?

June 9, 2017


Just as you can say the same thing in different ways in your own language, the same applies to Japanese. I am John, my name is John, call me John, the name's John.

私の名前は〜です, 私は〜です, 〜です, 〜といいます are all valid as well, you just need to have context in mind when using them

June 17, 2017


Not sure if this is right but you could probably drop the 'Watashi no' because that's implied in the context?

June 15, 2017


Yes, in conversational Japanese the 私の is dropped when it's clear you're talking about yourself. In fact, the subject is usually omitted when the context is clear. It sounds blunt in English, but it's normal informal in Japanese.

May 1, 2018


No, 名前はジョンです is not normal, even in informal Japanese. If the subject was to be dropped, it would be the entire phrase, 私の名前, along with its associated particle, は, so you'd be left with ジョンです.

However, dropping the subject doesn't automatically make it informal Japanese. For this sentence, the verb has an informal form too, です -> だ

June 2, 2018


I think you could, but it's hardly done as that would sound very blunt, a la "Name's John."

July 13, 2017


ますis what is ending the sentence. As you continue to learn, です doesnt always end a sentence. You could end it with です but they wanted to let you know that といいます is "my name is / i am called".

June 7, 2017


Sound for Nice to meet you didn't play

June 13, 2017


I'm just confused because they haven't even taught me any of this "My name is" stuff yet and its a little frustrating.

June 29, 2017


Can someone exolain why the と is there I'm confused.

January 21, 2018


Here, とis behaving as a quotation particle. It indicates that John (=ジョン) is the thing that (=と) I am called (=いいます).

It is commonly used this way with verbs like いいます ("to say"), 思います (おもいます, "to think/feel"), and 考えます (かんがえます, "to think/consider"), among others.

February 6, 2018


Why doesn't this sentence need は as a topic marker?

October 29, 2017


The topic can often be omitted from a sentence if it is already known from context. In this case, the topic of the sentence is "I" since you are introducing yourself. If you were to include the topic the sentence would read as:
Since the listener knows that you're referring to yourself though, it isn't necessary to tell them that it is specifically you who is John so the topic can be dropped.

January 3, 2019


which of "to ii masu" or "toiimasu" is the correct wording? Why japanese doesn't use space?

June 23, 2017


If you're talking about how Duo has set up separate buttons for と, いい, and ます, as well as といいます, there's no difference; it's just an exercise if you want to practice spelling out the words.

If you're talking about transliteration (writing it out using English letters), there's no real prescribed "correct way", but I prefer to write it as to iimasu, to help me remember that to is the particle and iimasu is the verb.

Japanese doesn't use spaces because they don't need to. They use hiragana, katakana, and kanji in specific grammatical roles to make spaces largely unnecessary.

July 13, 2017


I wish you could select each portion and have it spoken for you to help guide your learning...

August 26, 2017



December 14, 2017


Why is there the 。at the end? What does it mean

October 3, 2018


It's just what a Japanese period/full stop looks like.

October 23, 2018


The pattern I'm at the moment is that in Japanese, you put the thing that's being talked about (in this case John/ジョン) before the thing that subject is or is doing (in this case, the subject, John, is your name)

I'm not a native speaker so I don't know if this is accurate or not. Can someone confirm?

August 30, 2017


Be careful about patterns. Duolingo is more informal but practical Japanese. If you want to understand the guidelines and concepts, you need to use something with pro grammer like Genki 1 or Lingodeer so you don't form the wrong connections.

That is if you're wanting to read and write and not just speak. Ignore me in that case

April 19, 2018


I have the hardest time with this. I put the name last everytime. But its kinda like German. Herr Körner had to explain it to me. Lol

February 27, 2018


Why is は sometimes pronounced "ha" and sometimes "wa"?

November 9, 2018


は when used as a topic particle is pronounced "wa" but in every other instance it is "ha"

The sounds of many kana changed when the language was reformed and solidified, but since particles were in such common use, rather than change them all and have to completely re-teach the population to read and write they just allowed the old readings to stay as well, giving the kana used for particles multiple reading.
へ is "he" normally but "e" as a direction particle, and を is "wo" but pronounced "o" as an object marker.

January 3, 2019


@Swisidniak can i ask smthing tho

Why is that が is used as topic particle sometimes? Are they used differently ?

April 6, 2019


が is the subject particle and marks the subject of a sentence. It marks new important information and stresses the word that comes before it. Sometimes the subject and the topic are the same thing, but not always.

Often は and が can be interchangeable, with each adding slightly different nuance to the sentence. は is used for the broader topic of conversation and if understood from context can be dropped. (The unspoken topic of this question's sentence would be "me" as in "my name is John") は carries some other functions such as showing contrast between things and is more often used in negative sentences for this reason.

Some examples:
Both of these sentences translate to "This is a pen" but different parts are stressed.

これペンです - kore ha pen desu - (this) (topic) (pen) (is)
"On the topic of this thing - it is a pen" - "this" is already known, it being a pen is new information and is stressed. Could be in response to "what is this thing?"

これぺんです - kore ga pen desu - (this) (subject) (pen) (is)
"This thing (is the thing that is) a pen" - "this" is new information and stressed. Could be an answer to "What is a pen?"

"I am John" :

ジョンです - watashi wa John desu - (I) (topic) (John) (am)
"On the topic of me - I am John" - can be shortened to a simple ジョンです John desu, because it can already understood you're talking about yourself.

ジョンです - Watashi ga John desu - (I) (subject) (John) (am)
"I (am the one who is) John" - "I" is being stressed. You are John. Not that other person.

A sentence that uses both:
お茶欲しいです - Watashi wa ocha ga hoshii desu - (I) (topic) (tea) (subject) (wanted/desired) (is)
"On the topic of me, tea is wanted" or simply "I want tea".
Can be shortened to お茶が欲しいです - ocha ga hoshii desu - because it is assumed you are talking about yourself.

Sorry that got a bit long, particles are complex things and I'm only really scratching the surface here. They'll become much easier to understand as you're learning and start actively using them.

April 6, 2019


It's perfectly fine ! Thank you very much for taking your time to make in depth explanations ☺️☺️

April 7, 2019


I get this wrong everytime. It changes each time. Ive been taking pocs and writing it down. Its pissing me off. Stay consistent !!!

April 12, 2019


They gave a question with a Kanji I don't know (「言」) that they haven't taught yet.

April 15, 2019


Everything starts as something you don't know yet.

That's kind of the point.

April 15, 2019


Usually the lessons teach the kanji first by using some examples. In this case, the examples were hiragana only for iimasu. The introduction of the kanji was in the possible answers to a question, no way to know what it is unless you try it out (hearing what it sounds like). I.e., is this a bug or a new feature on Duolingo?

April 20, 2019


Why is it wrong at the opposite order? I thought it must be translated starting from the end??? PLEASE HELP

August 7, 2017


Generally, a good way to start getting your head around Japanese grammar, especially as a beginner, is to start translating from the end, but if you hold on to that crutch too tightly, you very quickly get sentences that make no sense in English.

In this case, the comma separates the phrases はじめまして and ジョンといいます. By answering with "My name is John, nice to meet you", Duo thinks you think はじめまして = "my name is John" and ジョンといいます = "nice to meet you", which are both clearly incorrect.

August 8, 2017


Why can't I use は after john as a topic marker?

December 27, 2017


Because the name "John" isn't the topic of this sentence. Also, using the particle は with this verb いいます would make it sound like John, the person, is the subject as well as the topic, and the sentence would mean something like ""Nice to meet you," John says".

December 28, 2017


In english. Namely american. when say a man demands respect he would say my name is mr john. Is it understood in the culture and in the language that an elder/respected figure would go by john san?

January 22, 2018


Unlike English's Mr/Mrs you don't use san (or any other honorific) for yourself or when referring to your family; it makes you sound too proud.

For example you wouldn't talk to someone else about your mother using okaasan you'd use mama/haha, though in some families when talking directly to your mother you might use okaasan as a way of showing her respect.

June 20, 2018


So in other words would it be weird to say hajimemashite john san toiiumasu

January 22, 2018


Yes, it would be weird. In Japanese culture, to my non-native understanding, the use of honorific name suffixes like さん is a lot more nuanced than "is X an elder/respected figure?" The same person could go by さん to some people, さま to others, せんせい to others still, etc. The same person could refer to the same someone by さん in certain situations, せんぱい in others, etc.

Furthermore, one does not generally demand respect in Japanese culture; it's usually implied and/or expected. To that end, a person typically doesn't choose what name suffix they want to be addressed by.

Thst being said, I can imagine a scenario where someone is being disrespectful to John, who has a higher social status, and John feels the need to address such disrespect, but there are a couple of things weird about your suggested sentence. One, this typically wouldn't happen on a first meeting (as implied by the はじめまして), especially being the first thing you say to someone. They probably haven't had the chance to disrespect John yet. Their relative social status hasn't been established enough yet to be disrespected.

Secondly, and more importantly, if John was incensed enough to correct someone, he wouldn't use the polite verb conjugation of いいます. It would probably be more like お前(おまえ)にはジョンさんだぞ, where お前 is a rude and condescending version of "you", だ is the plain (non-polite) form of です, and ぞ is a strongly masculine emphasizer (similar to よ).

February 7, 2018


さん is a default title but Mr. Is not. In English we would ADD Mr. Out of respect. In Japanese, you REMOVE さん out of familiarity.

I've never liked "Mr, Miss, & Ms" as the translation。Titles like -どの (dono) or -さま (sama) are closer. Consider it doesn't have a direct translation so -さん means -さん.

This happens with most languages so instead focus on context . -さん is the default unless you have a personal relationship but its not like you MUST drop/change it.

Example, most common name for mother is "おかさん" but I've never heard anyone say おか. Likewise, they use "まま" but not "ままさん" so in this instance, the best translation is:

おかさま = Most respected mother (okasama) おかさん = Mother (okasan) まま = Mom/Mommy (mama)

April 19, 2018


If I remember to go John is my name. I think I can remember the order

February 10, 2018


Why not simply watishi jon desu i

February 22, 2018


Well, for one, "watishi jon desu i" doesn't make sense. But also, there's more than one way to introduce yourself in English, as there is in Japanese. Why are you learning a new language if you're not looking for other ways to say things?

March 5, 2018



February 23, 2018


I dont know half of the symbols

March 28, 2018


Use Memrise to get them into letters rather than symbols and come back when its more familiar

April 19, 2018


Doesn't accept はじめまして。ジョンと申します。

April 9, 2018


Broken question, how was I supposed to get the comma thing from the word bank? I don't have a Japanese keyboard so I need to use the word bank rather than type.

May 12, 2018


Does Duo penalize you for stringing the two sentences together without the comma? If it does, then you should report it (using the flag, not here in the comments).

However, I personally think the comma isn't strictly necessary, though it should be included for learning purposes. It's more of a common stylistic choice for adding readability to your writing.

July 1, 2018


I'm confused on when to not have the same order of a sentence...i put all the correct particles just in the wrong order...the grammatic order of english but whats the grammatic order in Japanese? They arent so obvious about it until you get it wrong

May 17, 2018


So I don’t understand what the difference between the regular ヨ and the smaller ョ

May 20, 2018


ヨ=yo きゅ = ki + yo = kyo

May 27, 2018


Hi +yo = hyo ra + yu = ryu etcetc.. Exceptions to the whole ya yo yu thing.. Would be chi and shi. chi + ya = cha shi + ya = sha ji + ya = ja... Get it? I hope that made sense.

May 27, 2018


Er きょ= kyo... Sorry, getting used to new keyboard.

May 27, 2018


It said my answer was Incorrect, but it was the same As the answer

August 20, 2018


はじめまして、私の名前はジョンです Hajimemashite, watashi no namae ha John. Most Japanese translations of, "My name is....", is, "Watashi no namae wa....."

October 16, 2018


The lack of some kanjis make me get confused. I take a while to realize that いいます was 言います.

October 31, 2018


Has anyone else had the problem where it says the period is wrong?

December 3, 2018


How do i type in Japanese? I have a Japanese keyboard, but it just doesn't let me pull my keyboard up.

January 3, 2019


Do you mean you can't get your Japanese IME to work, or that Duo itself won't allow you to type?
On web version you should be able to hit the "switch to keyboard" button on a question to change away from the wordbank. The app however I believe has been going through some changes and currently only has the word bank as an option. If you're on the app and only get the word bank, I recommend switching to the browser version for typing.

January 3, 2019


Is there any answer using "よろしくおねがいします" that it accepts? I've tried about 5 with no luck.

January 13, 2019


i was previously taught to say "watashi wa ____ desu" to say my name whats different when using toiimasu

January 18, 2019


watashi wa (name) desu is like

I am (name)

whereas (name) to iimasu is

I am called (name)

February 7, 2019


I just learned that you can leave comments on the questions 、 and this is very helpful!

February 17, 2019


The translation should be like ""Nice to meet you (For the first time), my name is pronounced as John. "(Gonna say it's really really strange.)

March 24, 2019


Is it not possible to use the small "tsu" in "to-i-i-ma-su" since its used for doubling of the following first character? Instead of two "i"s?

March 27, 2019


The small tsu is for gemination, doubling consonant sounds specifically, and can not be used for vowels.

March 27, 2019


Not in the same way, but small っ can be used to shorten vowel sounds for dramatic effect, e.g. えっ!?is an abrupt "Eh!?"

March 27, 2019


Why does it sometimes show "いいます" as the right answer and "言います" at other times ? Is there a difference? Is one more accurate than the other ?

April 6, 2019


Don't worry, they're the same thing. いいます is simply the hiragana spelling/pronunciation of the kanji version 言います.
The kanji would technically be more accurate since it is how it would normally be written and removes any ambiguity to its meaning, but either are acceptable.

April 6, 2019


Thanks again !

April 7, 2019


So why is it, "ジョンと言います," and not, "私の名前はジョンです"?

April 12, 2019


I live in Japan, and I've never heard this version of "my name is..." Usually people say, 私はジョンです, or simply ジョンです。

April 16, 2019


I haven't even seen some of these symbols before I went into this.

May 14, 2019


Well, now you have, and hopefully next time you'll remember some of them and what they say/mean. That's how you learn things.

Duo makes things a little easier for you by providing a "Tips and Notes" section at the start of every tree (the little light bulb icon, which unfortunately isn't available in the Android app) and hints for every word (if you click or tap the characters, the hints will appear).

May 15, 2019
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