In the English language, there are two ways to address a woman: Ms. and Mrs. Both terms denote marital status, but they have different implications. Let’s take a look at the difference between Ms. and Mrs. so you can choose the right term for the right situation.
What is Ms?
Ms is a title of respect before a woman’s name or position that does not indicate her marital status. Ms originated as an abbreviation of the honorific Mistress, which was originally used for married and unmarried women alike. Ms has been in use since the early 1970s and is now the standard feminine title in business and academia in the English-speaking world. Ms is also increasingly being used as a courtesy title by organizations that wish to be seen as inclusive, such as The Ms. Foundation for Women.
What is Mrs?
Mrs. is an honorific for a married woman. The title Mrs. is derived from the French word madame, which is the formal way to address a woman. In English, Mrs. is used as a courtesy title before the given name of a married woman. Mrs. is also used as the plural form of Mrs., as in “the Mrs. Smiths.” Mrs. is pronounced “misiz” or “miziz.” The plural pronunciation is “misiziz” or “miziziz.” The honorific Mrs. is always used with the last name of the woman, never her first name. It is considered disrespectful to address a married woman by her first name alone, even if she asks you to do so. When introducing a Mrs., it is proper to say “Mrs. Smith” or “Mrs. Jane Smith,” never just “Jane Smith.” When writing to a Mrs., one would typically start the letter with “Dear Mrs. Smith” or “Dear Mrs…” followed by the woman’s last name.
Difference between Ms and Mrs
Ms. and Mrs. are both titles that are used before a woman’s surname. They indicate that the woman is married. Ms. is the more common title, and it can be used for a woman regardless of her marital status. In contrast, Mrs. is only used for married women. Some women prefer to use Ms. because they feel that it is more inclusive and less likely to cause offense than Mrs. However, there are no hard and fast rules about which title to use, and ultimately it is up to the individual woman to decide which one she prefers.
The use of Ms. and Mrs. can be confusing for some people, but the difference is actually quite simple. Mrs. is used when referring to a woman who is married, while Ms. is used for all other women (including those who are unmarried). If you’re not sure which title to use, it’s always best to default to Ms., as this will be appropriate for the majority of women.