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There is great power in knowing the names for things. It gives you a satisfying sense of control and certainty and is the basis of all clear communication. So here's one full week all about names. To be more specific, it's all about the names we give ourselves!

Today's LessonCATEGORY: ジャパニーズイングリッシュ
(FIRST/MIDDLE/LAST) NAME   名前/ミドルネーム/名字


  • In the United States, if your name is John Adam Smith, then

    “John” is your first name or given name.

    “Adam” is your middle name.

    “Smith” is your last name or family name.

    Be Careful[1]! Since Japanese last names come BEFORE first names - for example, “Yamada Taro” - using the expressions family name and given name can be less confusing than using last name and first name.

    Be Careful[2]! We sometimes call both our first AND middle names our given names.
  • アメリカで、John Adam Smith という人がいたら、

    John が、その人の名前です。英語では、名前のことを first name または given name といいます。

    Adam は、middle name です。

    Smith は、名字です。英語では名字を last name または family name といいます。

    注意[1]:日本語では、「Yamada Taro」のように、名字が名前の前にくるので、last namefirst name よりも、family namegiven name を使った方が、紛らわしくないでしょう。

    注意[2]:英語では、first name と middle name の双方を、given names と呼ぶことがあります。


  1. a: What's your first name, Ms. Anderson?
    b: It's Mary. My full name is Mary Beth Anderson.
  2. My given name is Takenori, but my American friends call me Tony.
  3. a: What's your middle name, Tony?
    b: I don't have one. People in Japan don't usually have middle names.
  4. Is she going to change her last name when she gets married?
  5. Sato, Suzuki, and Tanaka are all very common family names in Japan.
  6. a: How do you do, Mr. Yuichi?
    b: Er ... actually, Yuichi is my given name. Suzuki is my family name.
  7. Print your name on the form here. Please include all of your given names.

英会話レッスンBerlitz WordMaster - there's no better place to learn the words you need to communicate. After all, “Word” is our middle name!