What are the equivalent personal name suffixes in Spanish?

  • Sr / Senior
  • Jr / Junior

Some examples would be:

  • Mr. John Doe, Sr.
  • Mr. John Doe, Jr.

3 Answers 3

  • John Doe Padre
  • John Doe Hijo

Most likely won't use anything equivalent to Mr.

Sometimes we use Don (man) or Doña (woman), but that is used to convey respect and only for people over 50 years old.

  • Don Juan Alvarez
  • Doña Elvira Rodriguez de Alvarez (his wife)
  • Juan Alvarez hijo

You can also use sénior and júnior respectively:

Del lat. senior, comp. de senex 'viejo, anciano'.
1. adj. U. pospuesto a un nombre propio de persona para indicar que esta es mayor que otra emparentada con ella, generalmente su hijo, y del mismo nombre.

Del lat. iunior 'más joven'.
1. adj. U. pospuesto a un nombre propio de persona para indicar que esta es más joven que otra emparentada con ella, generalmente su padre, y del mismo nombre.

Though the established suffixes, according to the DPD, are padre:

Para distinguir al padre del hijo se usa tradicionalmente en español la voz padre, opción más recomendable: «Alejandro Dumas padre lo convirtió en protagonista de dos de sus novelas».

and hijo:

En español, para distinguir al hijo del padre se usa tradicionalmente la voz hijo, siempre preferible al anglicismo: «La Dama de las Camelias, de Alejandro Dumas hijo».

Bear in mind, however, that Spanish law allows for a child to have their mother's surname as first surname, instead of their father's. That means that now you can also have matching names between mother and daugther!
In that case, using padre would obviously be weird; sénior, however, being a genderless word, could be a fair choice.

  • as for the last paragraph... you can use madre and hija like in @roetnig examples `Isabel Pantoja madre e Isabel (Chabelita) Pantoja hija. I'll always prefer to use padre/hijo over the anglicism senior/junior even if these were approved by the RAE
    – DGaleano
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 19:18

Actually in Spanish there are not a defined way of distinction between father and son with the same name. Informally, when two persons of the family share the same first name, each family has his ways to identify them:

  • José padre y José hijo
  • José y Pepe (pepito, etc)
  • Don José y José
  • etc..

In Spain (and most of Spanish speaking countries), every person is legally identified with name and two surnames (one from the father and one from the mother) and it's unlikely that father and son share also both surnames.

  • José Sánchez Pérez
  • José Sánchez Ruiz
  • etc..

EDIT: (some "real world" examples)

Adolfo Suárez (former Spanish Government President) and his son Adolfo Suárez Illana.

Isabel Pantoja and her daughter Chabelita Pantoja

Francisco Rivera (Paquirri) and his sons Francisco Rivera Ordoñez y Francisco Rivera (Paquirrín)

José María Aznar (former Spanish Government President) and his son José María Aznar Botella.


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