Chinese grammar: Using the verb "jiao"叫

The verb 叫 (jiào) can seem a little weird to beginners. So it gets its own grammar point!The verb 叫 means both "to call" and "to be called".


This can be used to give your full name or just your first name. It’s an easy way to give names, using the following structure:

 Subject + 叫+ Name


Tā jiào Llǐ Xiǎolónɡ.
他 叫 李小龙。
(Note: this is the real name of Bruce Lee)

His name is Li Xiaolong.

You can also ask people their names using 叫:

Nǐ jiào shénme mínɡ zi ?
你 叫 什么 名字 ?
What’s your name?

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