How to Use Siri with Contacts

The Contacts app is deeply embedded in the Apple ecosystem. With it, we can make calls, send emails and messages, find friends, and get travel directions by saying a person’s name when making a request to Siri.

Your contacts are synced between all Apple devices connected to the same iCloud account. So many of the commands we use here can be used on an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, HomePod, and Mac.

Can Siri create contacts?

Currently, it’s not possible to add or delete contacts using Siri, but there’s still a lot you can do to manage contacts on your iPhone or Apple product.

In this article, we show you the following:

  1. How to find contacts with Siri.
  2. How to get information about specific contacts using Siri.
  3. How to use Siri to assign a ‘relationship’ to a contact.
  4. How to give contacts a nickname.
  5. How to get Siri to say names correctly.

How to find contacts with Siri

When searching for details of a contact stored in your address book, just say their name.

Hey Siri, find people called Jones.

Hey Siri, show Jason Harper.

If the person exists, a notification will appear containing their information; tap on it to open their details in the Contacts app.

Ask Siri to show you contact information
Ask Siri to show you contact information

Alternatively, you can ask Siri to show you specific information. When the ‘what would you like to know’ prompt appears, say what you need, such as:

Email address.

If multiple people have the same name, Siri will ask you to choose the correct one from a list.

How to use Siri to get information about a contact

It’s also easy to get specific details about a contact.

Hey Siri, when is Jason Harper’s birthday?

Hey Siri, what is Sarah Smith’s address?

How to add relationships to contacts in Siri

You can ask Siri to assign ‘relationships’ to your family, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and even your boss.

When a relationship is designated, you can use their relationship instead of their name when talking to Siri.

For example:

Hey Siri, text my husband I’ll be home in 30 minutes.

Hey Siri, send an email to my boss.

Hey Siri, what’s my sister’s work address?

How to assign a relationship

The first thing you need to do is teach Siri who your husband, wife, best friend, or boss are before it can assign them to a contact.

  • Activate Siri by pressing the side/home button or saying, “Hey Siri.”
  • State the name of your contact followed by the relationship, such as “John Smith is my brother.” Make sure you say the name exactly as it is in your contacts.
  • When Siri asks you to confirm the name, say “Yes” or press the Yes button on the screen.

Hey Siri, Sarah Smith is my aunt.

Hey Siri, Jason Harper is my brother.

Assign a relationship to a contact
Assign a relationship to a contact

You may find you have relationships that conflict, such as having two brothers. In this case, you can differentiate them by using a variation on the relationship, such as ‘older brother’ and ‘younger brother’.

If you haven’t yet assigned a relationship to a contact, and you make a request involving one, such as:

Hey Siri, call Dad.

Siri will ask for your father’s name and if you want to remember that person as your father.

Say “Yes”. From then on, Siri will know who your father is.

You can also add relationships manually by editing contacts on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

  • Go to your contact card on your device.
  • Tap Edit.
  • Tap on Add Related Name, which is about halfway down the contact card.

Assigning more than one relationship to a contact

You can attach multiple relationships to the same contact. Follow the steps described above again, and Siri will ask you if you want to confirm the additional relationship.

Deleting relationships

To remove a relationship, delete it directly from the contact’s card in the Contacts app.

How to give contacts nicknames to use with Siri

If you have people in your contacts list with the same name or have names pronounced similarly, you can take advantage of Nicknames to tell them apart.

For example, if you say…

Hey Siri, call Sarah.

…and you have more than one Sarah in your contacts, Siri will respond by asking you to pick the correct Sarah from a list. This is fine, but it could soon become inconvenient if you do it regularly.

You can solve this by giving contacts nicknames to differentiate them from each other.

Assigning a nickname in the Contacts app is easy.

  • Open the Contacts app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Find the person’s contact card.
  • Tap on Edit in the upper-right corner.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the screen until you see the link to Add Field and tap on it.
  • On the Add Field page, tap on the entry for Nickname.
  • Type in the Nickname you want to use for the contact.
  • Tap Done.
Add a nickname field in the Contacts app
Add a nickname field in the Contacts app

You can now refer to the contact by their new nickname, and Siri will understand who you are referring to.

Get Siri to recognize and pronounce names correctly

Siri is meant to be an all-knowing super-intelligent virtual being, but quite often stumbles over something as simple as pronouncing a name correctly.

When Siri says a name or nickname incorrectly, reply quickly (within a second or two) with the following:

You said that wrong.

That’s not how you say name.

You pronounced that wrong.

Siri will then prompt you to add the correct pronunciation in the Contacts app.

Open the contacts app to change a pronunciation
Open the contacts app to change a pronunciation

Tap on the notification, then tap on either Pronunciation first name or Pronunciation last name to enter the correct pronunciation.

Add the correect pronunciation to a contact
Add the correect pronunciation to a contact

How to enter correct pronunciation manually

To edit a person’s information in the Contacts app on your device:

  • Open the Contacts app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Find the person’s contact card.
  • Tap on Edit in the upper-right corner.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the link to Add Field and tap on it.
  • On the Add Field page, tap on the entry for Pronunciation first/last name.
  • Type in your best guess as to how the name should be pronounced.
  • Tap Done. You can then ask Siri to show you contact information for that person, and Siri will now pronounce the name using your preferred pronunciation.

Want to discover more about using Siri, Apple’s popular virtual assistant? We’ve written a helpful collection of tutorials full of techniques for using apps, dictation, using Siri Shortcuts, and a comprehensive beginner’s guide to activating and using Siri.