Often times, people use Miss, Mrs., and Ms. interchangeably but they are different. Everyone should understand the difference between Miss vs. Ms. vs. Mrs. While many women don’t mind being addressed by any of the three, some of them frown when a wrong title is used for them. This is why this article explains the difference between the three female titles.
Miss vs. Ms. vs. Mrs.
Ms. vs. Mrs.
Mrs. is straightforward. You can address a woman by the title if she is married, remains married, and she decides to adopt her spouse’s last name after their wedding. That means you should be sure of the three before you address a woman as Mrs.
On the other hand, Ms. is used when a woman decides to maintain her maiden name instead of her spouse’s last name after their wedding. This means that if Miss Thomas gets married to Mr. Jones and she prefers to maintain “Thomas” as her last name, she’ll become Ms. Thomas. Logically, it does not make much sense to address her as Mrs. Thomas if that is her maiden name.
A woman can also change her title from Mrs. to Ms. after a divorce. For instance, after getting married to Mr. Jones, Miss Thomas became Mrs. Jones but after their divorce, she became Ms. Thomas. So, whenever any woman is addressed as Ms., be sure that the name used is actually her maiden name.
Now, here is a challenge that a lot of people face when they want to address a woman they don’t know too well. To be on the safer side, if by your estimation, the woman is over 30, “miss” should be out of the picture. If you are not sure of her marital status, address her as Ms. The reverse is odd. Unmarried or divorced women feel offended when addressed as Mrs.
Miss vs. Ms.
Miss can be used for a young unmarried woman who is in her twenties or even younger. That is the only situation where miss is suitable. It is very easy to understand.
Although Ms. has been discussed above, it wasn’t related to Miss. In the category of being unmarried, Ms. is used for women that are about 30 and above. So, Miss and Ms. can be used for unmarried women but the latter is for women who are 25 or above.
How do you address an unmarried woman whose age you are not sure of? You can never go wrong with Ms. and this is why when you mistakenly address a very young girl as Ms. instead of Miss, she’ll feel respected and honored. Even if she’ll correct you, she won’t take offence.
On the hand, if you mistakenly address a grown woman as Miss instead of Ms., she may not take it lightly with you. Indeed, it is offensive and derogatory. That is why you are always safe with Ms. To wrap it up, here is a quick summary.
Way to Address a Woman | Useful Tip
Miss – An unmarried young girl below 25. Two conditions involved.
- She has never gotten married.
- She is very young.
Mrs. – A married woman who adopts her spouse’s last name post-wedding. Two conditions are involved here too.
- She is married.
- She adopts her husband’s last name.
Ms. – Any woman that does not belong to any of the two categories summarized above can be addressed as Ms. You can use Ms. for any of the situations below.
- She is over 25 and either unmarried or divorced.
- She is married but adopts her maiden name.
- You don’t know anything about her.
Conclusively, Ms. is the safest way to address a woman you don’t know much about.
Miss vs. Ms. vs. Mrs. Examples
- Miss Jekyll will be invigilating today.
- Miss Parrish recently placed an advertisement in the local news-paper.
- Ms. Kane, let me introduce my boss, Mr. Sato to you.
- Please give my greeting to Ms. Macleod.
- Mrs. Meddeman heads the fund-raising committee.
- Mr. Harris and Mrs. Bate and three other teachers were there.
When to Address a Woman by Miss vs. Ms. vs. Mrs. | Picture
Miss vs. Ms. vs. Mrs. – When to Address a Woman