French Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the French language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The standard method all French learners are taught is to use s'appeller. But is this the only way? What alternatives are there, how common are they, and when could they be used (if not always)? Are they more formal?

For instance:

Il s'appelle Pascal.


Il se nomme Pascal.


Son nom est Pascal. (is this even allowed?)

Are there other ways? In English I can just say "This is Pascal" or "That's Pascal"....are C'est Pascal / Il est Pascal permissible?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Les trois sont tout à fait corrects, dans l'ordre :

« Il s'appelle Pascal. » - le plus courant;
« Il se nomme Pascal. » - le plus recherché;
« Son nom est Pascal. » - le plus administratif.

All these three phrases are correct:

« Il s'appelle Pascal. » - most usual;
« Il se nomme Pascal. » - most refined;
« Son nom est Pascal. » - most formal.

Cette réponse a été initialement écrit comme un commentaire par cl-r.

share|improve this answer

Marc's answer is correct. To complete it :

"Voilà Pascal"

also fits : when Pascal is close to you and you introduce him to new colleagues (for instance). Or when you are with other people and he is coming to the group.

"C'est Pascal" is not used in this context.

"Il est Pascal" is not grammatically correct.

share|improve this answer
(You should expand on what context it is used in.) – Aerovistae Aug 22 '14 at 11:31
C'est Pascal would be used to designate Pascal among other people for example. – cram2208 Apr 21 at 22:31

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.