Why does

Me llamo Joe

translate to

I call myself Joe


Joe me llamo

Translates to

Joe calls me.

I would’ve expected Joe calls me to be

Joe me llama

Not using llamo

  • 1
    Me llamo Joe does not translate to I call myself Joe. It's: My name is Joe. in most contexts. Joe me llamó, Joe called me. Joe calls me, is Joe me llama, yes.
    – Lambie
    Apr 17, 2021 at 23:09

1 Answer 1


I would’ve expected Joe calls me to be

”Joe me llama”

Exactly. "llamo" is the first person form of the verb. I'm a learner just like you, so I can't tell whether “Joe me llamo” is a grammatically wrong version of "me llamo Joe" or just a very rare word order used for a very specific form of emphasis, but it does not mean ”Joe calls me”.

"llamó" (note the accent; in speaking, you'd notice the difference because of the stress on the last syllable) is a third person form, but the preterite, and would make perfect sense, but it means "Joe called me".

  • I figured it out. In past tense, “joe called me” would be Joe me llamó. That is the third person preterite tense.
    – dscore
    Apr 16, 2021 at 18:53
  • @dscore yeah, I just realized that as well.
    – Glorfindel
    Apr 16, 2021 at 18:58

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