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?


2 Answers 2


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.


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.

  • (You should expand on what context it is used in.) Aug 22, 2014 at 11:31
  • C'est Pascal would be used to designate Pascal among other people for example.
    – cram2208
    Apr 21, 2016 at 22:31

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