Free English Lessons

Talking About Names – Listening Lesson

by Oli Redman on February 24, 2015 , No comments

How do names work in your language? Does the family name go first, or at the end? Do you have middle names, or anything similar? Listen to a conversation about this topic and learn useful new vocabulary in this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English.

Woman: I’m sorry, I get confused with western names sometimes. Which is your surname?

Man: Barry is my surname. Craig’s my first name.

Woman: You know, in my country, we always write the family name first. That’s why I mix them up sometimes.

Man: No problem. I can see how that could be confusing!

Woman: Around the office, people often call you something else. What is it… Monty?

Man: Oh, that! That’s just a nickname.

Woman: How did you get it?

Man: Ah, well, that’s a conversation for another time.

Woman: Is it something rude?

Man: No, not exactly, but…

Woman: I see! Do you have a middle name?

Man: I don’t, no. What about you?

Woman: Kind of. In my country we have a first name and surname, same as here. Then, you get a second name which is based on your father’s first name. I don’t know the word in English.

Man: It’s called a patronym, I think.

Woman: Is that the same as a middle name?

Man: Not really, although I think a lot of people use their relatives’ names as middle names. You know, you might use your uncle’s first name, or your grandmother’s first name as a middle name for your child. Everyone’s different, though!

Woman: So why don’t you have one?

Man: I dunno. You’d have to ask my parents!

Names Listening Lesson Quiz

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Oli RedmanTalking About Names – Listening Lesson