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How to address a Ms (lady of unknown marital status)

Johan1FSSpanish NoviceTue, 21 Nov 2006 19:21:56 +0000

Amy mentions in one of the lessons in the first chapter that one should be careful not to accidentally refer to señora as señorita (or the other way round).

Problem is, unless I'm pretty good at looking at fingers and making the correct deduction based on rings (probably very dangerous), it is virtually impossible to determine marital status without asking.

I've been digging through my dictionaries, but they all list both señora and señorita as translations for Ms.

I have noticed that in German that most young ladies now prefer to be called Frau and no longer Fräulein, as the latter is deemed by many as condescending. Is the same the case in Spanish? What do one use to be safe and polite?


Johan1FSSpanish NoviceTue, 28 Nov 2006 15:19:18 +0000

Either this question has a very obvious answer escaping me, or it's so difficult that nobody can answer it!
LenguasSpanish NoviceTue, 28 Nov 2006 17:47:07 +0000
Well, I think you should say senora or senorita, depending on what you think she is. If you are wrong, she will correct you. I can see this happen in movies in various languages (Croatian, Italian, Spanish, English) so it's not the end of the world even if you make a mistake.
AntonioSpanish NoviceThu, 30 Nov 2006 02:59:07 +0000
When I get introduced to a Lady, I always ask :
Is it Ms or Mrs ?

Nothing wrong with that, as they always ask me if I am married or not !
Johan1FSSpanish NoviceThu, 30 Nov 2006 04:01:39 +0000
And if I read the conversation guide's first page better I would have found the following sentence:

"Don’t confuse señora with señorita! Address adult or married women with the term señora; address girls or young women with señorita."

Now just not to judge a book by its cover!
Mohammed B1Red Star Spanish MasterTue, 04 Jun 2013 17:36:36 +0000
Mohammed B1Red Star Spanish MasterSat, 15 Jun 2013 18:50:11 +0000
Hola !!
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