The article substantiates the introduction of pragmatic category of person to describe the functioning of personal names. The fi rst person is used for self-representation, the second person for addressing, whereas the third one is connected to all other uses, which are conventionally designated as referential. The category of person is a certain pragmatic position in an utterance associated with a speaker, an addressee, or with something / someone that is neither one nor the other.
The article proposes that it is the second person (addressing) that can be considered a strong position in which the maximum set of options is possible. There are certain restrictions for the fi rst and third person, for example, it is not re commended to use affectionate and other emotional variants of names: Andryu shechka, Sashulenka, Verunchik, etc.
The emphasis on the second person is explained by the fact that addressing is a communicative point at which relations are established between the interlocutors: the speaker offers them, and the addressee can correct them. Options that tend to be used exclusively in the second person should be classifi ed as colloquial speech. Thus, the use of the category of person for personal names makes it possible to conveniently formulate the rules for choosing a variant of a name, along with a meaningful interpretation.