15

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?

4
  • "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.
    – user5706
    Sep 29 '14 at 21:38
  • There is no such (ridiculous) thing as "Ms." in any other language in the planet. It seems American and British women are ashamed of being married (or not, for that mater). Shame on them!
    – user9512
    Jul 30 '15 at 14:22
  • @user9512 I guess you don't know the origin of Ms. right? It means it's nobody else's business if a woman is married or not. It has nothing to do with shame.
    – Lambie
    Sep 24 at 21:13
11

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".

1
  • 3
    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"
    – Jaume
    Sep 29 '14 at 22:17
2

According to SpanishDict (http://www.spanishdict.com/translate/ms.), the formal English title "Ms." still translates to "Señora", as in (as quoted from their entry), "Ms. Sinclair is not at home" translating to "La señora Sinclair no está en casa."

Cheers!

1

"Doña" is what I would use to convey such courtesy:

¿Doña María, cómo estás hoy?

3
  • 1
    If you are using "Doña", probably you want to address that person "de usted". ¿Doña María, cómo está usted hoy?
    – Diego
    Sep 30 '14 at 20:13
  • 3
    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 '14 at 20:32
  • Also many women hate being called doña for the same reason they would hate being called señora.
    – nopaltepec
    Sep 23 at 19:33
0

In México, people can informally address a women as seño (short for either señorita or señora). It's heard often in markets when shopkeepers try to get the attention of passers-by.

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