Introduction:

It is very common to meet new people and introduce yourself (tell the person who you are). But how do you do it? You can just say 'Hi, I'm Simon', and in some situations (like meeting a friend of a friend) that is ok to say. But if you are meeting somebody new in other situations (like in a business meeting or meeting a new customer etc...), it isn't. In these situations, it is important that you use phrases in English which are more formal to introduce yourself than just 'Hi....'.

In addition to this, the type of phrases you use changes depending on if you are introducing yourself to a stranger (somebody you don't know) or if you are introducing yourself to somebody you have spoken to on the telephone or email before but never met.

And in addition to this, it is polite in the English-speaking world after introducing yourself to somebody to ask them questions (e.g. 'Terrible weather isn't it?', 'Who do work for?', 'Have you been here before?' etc...) to show that you are interested in the other person.

And you'll learn how to do all of this here.

In this first of two online exercises on introducing yourself in English, you'll learn and remember formal and polite English phrases that are used to both introduce yourself to other people and what to say when somebody introduces themself to you. In addition, you'll also learn phrases that you can use to continue the conversation after the introduction.

Although the vocabulary used here is focused on business and formal situations, it can also be used in less formal situations as well.

After doing this exercise, I recommend that you do the second part this exercise where you'll learn English phrases for both finding and introducing yourself to people you are looking for.

To learn the English phrases used to end a conservation and say goodbye, do our exercise on 'How to say goodbye in English phrases'.

It's not just what you say, but what you do

Before you learn the phrases to introduce yourself in English, there is something else you need to know. Like in most countries, when you meet somebody for the first time in English-speaking countries, it is polite to shake hands with the person (with both men and women). But it is not common in the English-speaking world for people to kiss each other on the cheek in introductions.


Exercise: Introducing yourself

In the following two situations, people are introducing themselves to each other. In situation 1, it is two strangers at a conference. In situation 2, an employee is introducing himself to a new employee in an office.

From the context, try to guess what the meaning of the words/phrases in bold are. Then do the quiz at the end to check if you are right.

Situation 1

Gary:'It's a very good conference this year.'

Lisa:'Yes, I'm really enjoying it. I think it's better than last year's one. Did you come last year?'

Gary:'No, I didn't. But I came the year before and that was good, but not as good as this year's.'

Lisa:'It was good last year, but the speakers here this year are a lot better.'

Gary:'Allow me to introduce myself. My name's Gary Smith.'

Lisa:'Pleased to meet you Gary. My name's Lisa Rodgers.'

(Handshake)

Gary:'Pleased to meet you too. How long are you at the conference for?'

Lisa:'I'm here for the full 5 days. And you?'

Gary:'I'm only here for 3 days. I'm leaving the day after tomorrow.'

Lisa:'What do you do?'

Gary:'I'm a sales manager at Timebox plc. And yourself?'

Lisa:'I'm the director of marketing for an internet company called travelquick.com.'


Situation 2

Chris:'I don't think we've been introduced. My name's Chris.'

Keith:'Nice to meet you Chris. My name's Keith.'

(Handshake)

Chris:'Hello Keith, nice to meet you too. How is your first day going?'

Keith:'It's going very well. There is a lot to learn, but this job seems similar to my last job. The people here seem very friendly. Do you work in the sales department?'

Chris:'Yes, I do.'



Quiz: How to introduce yourself in English phrases part 1

Below is a definition/description of each of the words in bold from the above text. Now choose the word/phrase from the question's selection box which you believe answers each question. Only use one word/phrase once. Click on the "Check Answers" button at the bottom of the quiz to check your answers.

When the answer is correct, two icons will appear next to the question. The first is an Additional Information Icon "". Click on this for extra information on the word/phrase and for a translation. The second is a Pronunciation Icon "". Click on this to listen to the pronunciation of the word/phrase and to do a pronunciation speaking test.

1. A phrase/question used to ask somebody what their job is, is
         

What do you do:
(phrase) This is probably the most common question that is asked when meeting a stranger for the first time. It basically means 'what is your job?'. It is normally used when you've met somebody at a party/bar, conference etc... In the English-speaking world it is polite to ask a person questions after the introduction. It shows that you are interested in them and they are used to keep the conversation continuing/going.

The questions you ask can be about anything (except religion and politics), e.g. 'do you know Sandra?', 'have you been here before?'. Not asking a person questions after an introduction is seen as rude/impolite. Although it is impolite in some countries to ask somebody 'what do you do?', in the English-speaking world, it isn't.

In Spanish: "qué hace usted / a qué se dedica".

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What do you do:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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2. When a person says 'nice to meet you', you answer them by saying
         

Nice to meet you too:
(phrase) 'pleased/nice to meet you' is a formal phrase that is used when two people are introducing themselves to each other and one of the two has said their name. When somebody says this to you, you answer them by saying 'pleased/nice to meet you too'. For example, 'my name's Chris' 'nice to meet you. my name's Simon' 'nice to meet you too'. Both of these phrases are used for politeness.

When two people are introducing themselves to each other, it is common for each person to say the other person's name after each phrase, but it isn't necessary. For example, 'my name's Chris' 'nice to meet you Chris. my name's Simon' 'nice to meet you too Simon'. It is also possible to say these phrases after both people have said their names, e.g. 'my name's Simon' 'my name's Chris' 'nice to meet you' 'nice to meet you too'.

In Spanish: "encantado (de conocerlo) / mucho gusto (en conocerlo)".

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Nice to meet you too:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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3. A formal way to tell somebody what you are called, is
         

My name's Lisa Rodgers:
(phrase) When telling somebody your name, it sounds more formal and professional if you tell them your full name (both your first name and surname), e.g. 'my name's Diego Romero'. Normally, saying your full name is only necessary in formal situations (e.g. in business meetings, conferences, formal events etc...). In more informal situations (at parties, meeting new work colleagues etc...), it is only necessary to say your first name, e.g. 'my name's Diego'. Basically, 'my name's' is the same as saying 'I'm', but 'my name's' sounds politer than 'I'm'.

In Spanish: "mi nombre es Lisa Rodgers".

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My name's Lisa Rodgers:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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4. A phrase that is used to start an introduction which contains the word 'don't', is
         

I don't think we've been introduced:
(phrase) This is a polite way for somebody to introduce themself to another person. It is used to start an introduction and is followed by the person saying what their name is, e.g. 'I don't think we've been introduced. my name's Simon'. It has the same meaning as 'allow me to introduce myself. my name's Simon', but both are normally used in different situations. 'I don't think we've been introduced' is normally used when the two people have not said anything before and this phrase is the first thing that is said. 'allow me to introduce myself' is normally used when the two people are already in a conversation about something (e.g. the weather, football etc...).

In Spanish: "me parece que no nos han presentado".

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I don't think we've been introduced:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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5. A phrase/question used to ask somebody if they work in a certain company, department etc..., is
         

Do you work in the sales department:
(phrase) This is a common question that is asked when meeting a new person for the first time. It is commonly used when you are visiting a company office or some people you don't know are visiting your office. In the English-speaking world it is polite to ask a person questions after the introduction. It shows that you are interested in them and they are used to keep the conversation continuing.

The questions you ask can be about anything (except religion and politics), e.g. 'do you know Sandra?', 'have you been here before?'. Not asking a person questions after an introduction is seen as rude/impolite. With the phrase 'do you work in the sales department', you can replace 'in the sales department' with other things. For example, 'do you work here?', 'do you work with Peter?', 'do you work for adidas? etc...'.

In Spanish: "trabajas en el departamento de ventas".

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Do you work in the sales department:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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6. A short phrase used to ask somebody the same question that they asked you, is
         

And yourself:
(phrase) 'and yourself' or 'and you' are common ways to ask somebody the same question that they just asked you. Instead of repeating the full question to them, you can just say 'and yourself?'. For example, 'did you finish the exercise?' 'yes, I did. and yourself?' 'yes, I did it also'. In the English-speaking world it is polite to ask a person questions after the introduction. It shows that you are interested in them and they are used to keep the conversation going.

In Spanish: "y usted".

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And yourself:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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7. A polite phrase that contains 'pleased' and is said to somebody after they have introduced themself and said their name, is
         

Pleased to meet you:
(phrase) 'pleased/nice to meet you' is a formal phrase that is used to be polite during an introduction. When two people are introducing themselves to each other, you would use this phrase after the other person who has started the introduction has told you their name, e.g. 'my name's Simon' 'pleased to meet you'. It is normal (but not necessary) to repeat the name of the other person at the end of the phrase and then say what your name is after. For example, 'my name's Simon' 'pleased to meet you Simon. my name's Chris'.

It is polite when somebody has said 'pleased to meet you' to you to respond by saying 'pleased to meet you too'. Although there is no difference in using 'pleased' or 'nice' in this phrase, this phrase sounds politer and more formal with 'pleased'. It is also possible to say this phrase after both people have said their names, e.g. 'my name's Simon' 'my name's Chris' 'pleased to meet you' 'pleased to meet you too'.

In Spanish: "encantado (de conocerlo) / mucho gusto (en conocerlo)".

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Pleased to meet you:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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8. A phrase that is used to start an introduction which contains the word 'me', is
         

Allow me to introduce myself:
(phrase) This is a very formal and polite way for somebody to introduce themself to another person. It is used to start an introduction and is followed by the person saying what their name is, e.g. 'allow me to introduce myself. my name's Simon'. It has the same meaning as 'I don't think we've been introduced. my name’s Simon', but both are normally used in different situations.

'I don't think we've been introduced' is normally used when the two people have not said anything before and this phrase is the first thing that is said. 'allow me to introduce myself' is normally used when the two people are already in a conversation about something (e.g. the weather, football etc...). Because 'allow me to introduce myself. my name's ...', is very formal, people often just say 'my name's ...' instead.

In Spanish: "permítame que me presente".

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Allow me to introduce myself:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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9. An informal way to tell somebody what you are called, is
         

My name's Keith:
(phrase) When telling somebody your name in informal situations (at parties, meeting new work colleagues etc...), it is only necessary to say your first name, e.g. 'my name's Diego'. In more formal situations (e.g. in business meetings, conferences, formal events etc...), it sounds more formal and professional if you tell them your full name (both your first name and surname), e.g. 'my name's Diego Romero'. Basically, 'my name's' is the same as saying 'I'm', but 'my name's' sounds politer than 'I'm'.

In Spanish: "mi nombre es Keith".

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My name's Keith:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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10. When a person says 'pleased to meet you', you answer them by saying
         

Pleased to meet you too:
(phrase) 'pleased/nice to meet you' is a formal phrase that is used when two people are introducing themselves to each other and one of the two has said their name. When somebody says this to you, you answer them by saying 'pleased/nice to meet you too'. For example, 'my name's Chris' 'pleased to meet you. my name's Simon' 'pleased to meet you too'.

Both of these phrases are used for politeness. When two people are introducing themselves to each other, it is common for each person to say the other person's name after each phrase, but it isn't necessary. For example, 'my name's Chris' 'pleased to meet you Chris. my name's Simon' 'pleased to meet you too Simon'. It is also possible to say these phrases after both people have said their names, e.g. 'my name's Simon' 'my name's Chris' 'pleased to meet you' 'pleased to meet you too'.

In Spanish: "encantado (de conocerlo) / mucho gusto (en conocerlo)".

Close

Pleased to meet you too:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

Close

11. A polite phrase that contains 'nice' and is said to somebody after they have introduced themself and said their name, is
         

Nice to meet you:
(phrase) 'nice/pleased to meet you' is a formal phrase that is used to be polite during an introduction. When two people are introducing themselves to each other, you would use this phrase after the other person who has started the introduction has told you their name, e.g. 'my name's Simon' 'nice to meet you'. It is normal (but not necessary) to repeat the name of the other person at the end of the phrase and then say what your name is after. For example, 'my name's Simon' 'nice to meet you Simon. my name's Chris'. It is polite when somebody has said 'nice to meet you' to you to respond by saying 'nice to meet you too'.

Although there is no difference in using 'pleased' or 'nice' in this phrase, this phrase sounds politer and more formal with 'pleased'. It is also possible to say this phrase after both people have said their names, e.g. 'my name's Simon' 'my name's Chris' 'nice to meet you' 'nice to meet you too'.

In Spanish: "encantado (de conocerlo) / mucho gusto (en conocerlo)".

Close

Nice to meet you:

Pronunciation Speaking Test:
To check your pronunciation of this word/phrase, first click on the microphone icon () below. Then allow the browser to record your voice and then say the above word/phrase. Although this test is good, it sometimes does not recognise some of the words/phrases.

       

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Practice

Now that you understand the new vocabulary, practise it by creating your own sentences with the new words/phrases.