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."

  • 1
    This is a man 👨 - perfectly ok.
    – mplungjan
    Dec 1, 2017 at 6:29
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    @Andrew However, "it" may be appropriate in this case. "Hi, it's James" is quite common in informal conversation, especially on the phone Dec 1, 2017 at 8:47
  • 13
    Introducing 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
    Dec 1, 2017 at 9:48
  • 2
    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. Dec 1, 2017 at 16:16
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    @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
    Dec 2, 2017 at 3:48

3 Answers 3


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.

  • 4
    This 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
    Dec 2, 2017 at 0:52

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."

  • 5
    Yes "Myself X" and "What is your GOOD name?" irritates me too.
    – ITguy
    Dec 1, 2017 at 10:03
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    @Andrea, I beg to differ. If somebody asks you to introduce yourself, you naturally start with "My name is..".
    – Varun Nair
    Dec 1, 2017 at 12:25
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    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
    Dec 1, 2017 at 13:33
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    @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
    Dec 1, 2017 at 14:01
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    "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
    Dec 2, 2017 at 9:00

The issue with "this is" is that you are referring to yourself in the third person. Fine for introductions of someone else, but not for yourself. Say "I am Joe Doe" or "You have reached Joe Doe" or even just "Joe Doe". We are over complicating something that is quite simple.

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