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As far as I can tell, the honorifics to address a woman are:

  • Señora (Sra.) which is equivalent to "Mrs." and is used to address a married woman;
  • Señorita (Srta.) which is equivalent to "Miss" and is used to address a unmarried woman

Is there an equivalent to "Ms.", which is used when you don't know (or don't want to reveal) the marital status of the lady you are referring to?

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"Señorita" is not only used for single women. Teachers or secretaries are usually addressed as "Señorita" (whether they are married or not). –  Javi Dec 14 '11 at 11:54
    
I don't understand whot you are talking, th question is how Ms. should be expressed in Spanish. 'Sa' is used when you don't know if she is married or not. –  Ikan Sep 29 at 21:38

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

No. In a conversation, you can try to guess it (age, ring, etc.) and expect to be corrected (not too harshly) if wrong (and if the other party cares about your mistake).

In more formal situations, a common way is just stating "Señora o Señorita".

I think this distinction is less important than in English, since a woman does not take her husband's name. So, it will be either "Señorita Pérez" or "Señora Pérez", not "Señorita Pérez" or "Señora Martínez".

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I think "Señorita" is only for young woman, when you say "Señorita" to an old lady it refers that never got married and it can be cruel. "Doña, Mari es señorita... nunca se casó" –  Jaime Cruz Triana Sep 29 at 22:17

Doña is what I would use to convey such courtesy. ¿Doña María, cómo estás hoy?

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If you are using "Doña", probably you want to address that person "de usted". ¿Doña María, cómo está usted hoy? –  Diego Sep 30 at 20:13
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BTW, Don/Doña is an honorific title, so you can not address whoever you want to with it. Also Don may be preceded by Señor, and Doña by Señora or Señorita, thus conveying more respect, and in the last case, showing whether the lady is married or not: Señorita Doña Laura Lopez. Finally, you can not use Doña the same way as Señorita (Esta señorita me estaba ayudando con la compra). –  Diego Sep 30 at 20:32

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