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名字 Names

A surname and a personal name are each longer than two syllables. A name in total is no more than four syllables.

姓 xìng
Surname

名字 míngzì
First name

叫 jiào
Call, shout, be called.

你 叫 什么 名字?
Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?
(You called what first-name?)
This is how to ask somebody's first name. It is very rare to use somebody's first name along unless the relationship is extremely intimate (ie, lovers, close relatives) so they will respond with their last and first names.

My name is __

Your name is __

Is your name __ ?

I am named __

Family name

The surname cannot be spoken/written alone. It must be accompanied by a title; or in informal relationships, the personal name.

王 Wáng
king
Character is thought to represent the king as axis between the ehavens, earth and underworld.

高 Gāo
high/tall

李 Lǐ
plum
Character is a boy and a tree -- the fruit of the tree.

金 Jin/Kim/Kam
gold

白 Bái

Personal name

興 / 兴 Xìng

朋 Péng
friend

友 Yoǔ
friendly
Character is two hands holding.

英 Yīng

爱 ài

Title

In Chinese, the surname precedes the title. Chen-xiansheng refers to Mr. Chen.

先生 xiānshēng / xiānsheng
Mister / teacher / husband

太太 tàitài
Married woman (missus)

小姐 xiǎojiě
Unmarried woman (miss)

你 姓 什么? Nǐ xìng shénme?
(You surname what?)
This is how to ask somebody's last name.