"Hello, This is" vs "My Name is" or "I am" in self introduction



I am from India and not a native English speaker. I do often hear people introducing themselves like

"Hello everyone; This is James"

Is it an acceptable form in native English? Usually, I know that "This" is used for animals or non-living things?

Note: I already reviewed threads discussing "My Name is" vs "I am."


Posted 2017-12-01T04:53:51.030

Reputation: 225

1This is a man - perfectly ok. – mplungjan – 2017-12-01T06:29:02.073

This, that, these, those and other related expressions are fine for people. It is not (normally) appropriate for people. – Andrew – 2017-12-01T08:15:22.323

3@Andrew However, "it" may be appropriate in this case. "Hi, it's James" is quite common in informal conversation, especially on the phone – georgewatson – 2017-12-01T08:47:26.510

13Introducing oneself as "Hello, this is X" (such as on the phone) implies you are already known. In short, it's not so much introducing oneself (adding a new name to someone's list of known persons) as identifying oneself (help someone know which persone on the list is speaking). – Medinoc – 2017-12-01T09:48:47.053

@georgewatson Yes, that's right. That's the existential "it" but still that is kind of weird and inconsistent. Oh well, I guess that's English for you. :) – Andrew – 2017-12-01T15:53:27.130


Possible duplicate of A: Is it wrong for John to say “This is John”?, although at least two of the answers here are very good.

– green_ideas – 2017-12-01T16:16:43.607

1@Medinoc Saying "This is X" or "It's X [here]", usually only happens when the speakers can't see each other, e.g. on the phone or at the door. It's not just when the speaker is already known, e.g. "This is X from company Y calling." (a stranger). It's also often preceded by "Who's that?", "Who is it?", or even just "Hello?" – CJ Dennis – 2017-12-02T03:48:57.763

Thank you Guys. I would have loved to accept both answers, but I can accept only one. So I chose the one looks concise. Expecting to learn from all of you. I am trying to be a good English Teacher leaving my IT background behind. – Jamess – 2017-12-02T08:32:23.833

So it looks like newer form of conversation such as one in a youtube video, may be "This is .." accepted like on phone call. – Jamess – 2017-12-04T13:48:00.407

@Andrew an Interesting, but confusing point you made that "This, that, these, those and other related expressions are fine for people. It is not (normally) appropriate for people". Sorry, I did not get the difference between fine vs appropriate in this context. Can you please explain with an example ? Or Does that warrants another independent question ;) ? – Jamess – 2017-12-04T13:49:36.433



This depends on the context.

In person in a small group, you'd say "Hi! I'm James!" and probably extend your hand to shake.

If you are in front a of a room of strangers introducing yourself, you might be more formal, with "My name is James".

However, if you're joining a conference call, you'd say "Hi! This is James." That's because you expect that the people you are talking to probably know who you are, or at least could look at the list of invitees, but they don't necessarily know that this voice is yours.

"Hello, this is James" was also a common way for someone named James to answer the phone, back in the days when phones were more tied to a location than individual devices as mobiles are today.


Posted 2017-12-01T04:53:51.030

Reputation: 1 313

4This is the right answer. Saying "this is X" is saying "this voice you don't recognize belongs to X person you know." You would not use it to introduce yourself. – Kat – 2017-12-02T00:52:07.350


Well, as an Indian, I've heard people introducing themselves as "Myself X", which really irritates me.

The most common way of introduction would be any of the following:

  • "My name is David."
  • "Hi, I am David."
  • "Hello, this is David"

Although the first and the second formats are more commonly used in face-to-face conversations, where as the third one is most commonly used in telephonic introductions, rather than face-to-face.

"Hi, Welcome to ABC Tele-services. This is David. How may I assist you today?"

'This' need not mean you're talking about non-living things (or animals).

"Hi Grace. This is my daughter, Carrie."

Varun Nair

Posted 2017-12-01T04:53:51.030

Reputation: 7 920

5Yes "Myself X" and "What is your GOOD name?" irritates me too. – ITguy – 2017-12-01T10:03:08.323

“My name is” feels bare on its own, I'm not sure it sounds natural as an introduction without some sort of greeting before it. – Andrea – 2017-12-01T12:16:09.393

1@Andrea, I beg to differ. If somebody asks you to introduce yourself, you naturally start with "My name is..". – Varun Nair – 2017-12-01T12:25:15.017

Having said that, I think there is a tinge of racism to not accept e.g. "Myself X" as proper English. My reason for this is no one says that calling a friend "mate" or "dude" is annoying or wrong english. They are just two words that evolved in 2 different countries which happen to speak English. Why can't we accept that the sub-continent has its own slight variations to English. – ITguy – 2017-12-01T13:33:36.267

When Sanjay Manjeraker in commentary calls someone a "Jeniien batsman" instead of "genuine batsmen" I don't laugh along with others because I think that is the Indianized version of the word genuine. And it should be accepted as such. – ITguy – 2017-12-01T13:36:38.653

@VarunNair please tag me so that I get a notification if you decide to answer me. – ITguy – 2017-12-01T13:52:27.557

1@ITguy What's your question? – Varun Nair – 2017-12-01T13:53:28.107

I meant I would like to know your opinion about this. – ITguy – 2017-12-01T13:54:20.160

2@ITguy I wouldn't call it 'racism', but yes, people who speak English in various parts of the world tends to create a regional dialects to the way they speak the language. This is heavily influenced by their mother tongue or the regional language. That doesn't mean it's wrong. Introducing yourself as "myself X" isn't grammatically wrong, but it sounds really odd. When you're speaking a language, there are a set of rules you must follow. And sometimes we let our local language influence it, which is okay. But it will sound really odd to a person who, say, is a native speaker. – Varun Nair – 2017-12-01T14:01:33.800


Let us continue this discussion in chat.

– ITguy – 2017-12-01T14:03:27.783

If you were speaking on the phone, a better introduction would be "Hi, Welcome to ABC Tele-services. You are speaking with David. How may I assist you today?" – Tim B James – 2017-12-01T17:00:17.143

2"Your good name" just means "your esteemed name". While it is not idiomatic, it is common in various cultures to show respect to others by addressing them in a way that 'gives value' to their name, either via honorifics or via adjectives attached to the title or name. "Myself X" is not even grammatically correct, which is worse. Either way, why should it irritate you? You could explain to that person what the idiomatic way is. – user21820 – 2017-12-02T09:00:37.660