Using the verb "jiao"
The verb 叫 (jiào) is used to indicate what someone or something is called, or what someone or something's name is. Its usage can seem a little weird to beginners, so it gets its own grammar point.
The verb 叫 (jiào) means both "to call" and "to be called." It's an easy way to give names, using the following structure:
Subj. + 叫 + [Name]
This can be used to give your full name or just your first name.
- 我 叫 Tom。Note: it even works if you don't have a Chinese name!My name is Tom.
- 他 叫 李小龙。Note: this is the real name of Bruce LeeHis name is Li Xiaolong.
- 我 哥哥 叫 老马 。Note: this is probably not his real nameMy brother is called Lao Ma.
- 那 个 叫 什么？What is that called?
- 这 个 美女 叫 Alana。This pretty girl is named Alana.
- 我们 的 老板 叫 John。Our boss is named John.
- 我 的 狗 叫 Max。My dog is called Max.
- 这 种 手机 叫 iPhone。This kind of cell phone is called an iPhone.
- 你 爸爸 叫 什么？What is your dad's name?
- 这 个 地方 叫 外滩。This place is called the Bund.
You can also ask people their names using 叫 (jiào):
- 你 叫 什么 名字 ？What's your name?
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 1 (pp. 14) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 24-5) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- 现代汉语八百词（增订本） ]] (pp. 303) [ →buy] 现代汉语八百词（增订本） | ]]303␞现代汉语八百词（增订本） ␞Using the verb "jiao"| ]]
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 49) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy