mrs or ms hands married couple engagement wedding rings featured

Mrs vs Ms – Difference, Using and Pronounce


Mrs. vs Ms., an age long tussle in the female address order, and then comes Miss. What is the difference between Ms vs Mrs vs Miss and when is it appropriate to use them? If you will get married soon, or you plan to change names, get in here!


You’ll address invites to guests, and you should know the usage of Mrs. or Ms. for married ones. Study this post to understand the difference between Miss and Mrs vs Ms.

What is the Difference Between Ms. and Mrs.?

Source: Instagram@thepaperbetty

This is a question asked by ladies getting a marriage license, penning invites, etc. It is quite easy to differentiate as I will show you below.
Ms. is title neutral and you can use it for both married and unmarried females. It supersedes both Mrs. and Ms. It applies to maidens, married women, divorcees, and widows.

Mrs. on the other is only used for women who are in a marriage with living spouses. You can also use the title for divorcees and widows who wish to retain their ex or late husband’s names. You have to be sure that they prefer being really addressed as such.


What Does Mrs. Mean?

Source: Instagram@sarinawhite

For married women and widows, Mrs. is a title that connotes respect. Every time you use the title “Mrs.”, it must go with the husband’s name. The Mrs. Title either goes with the husband’s first and last name or his last name. It may also go with the woman’s name and her husband’s last name.
This is more common when penning professional correspondence to a woman’s whose name is unknown. If you are sure to use Mrs., the following characteristic name should be her husband’s.

Here are some examples

  • Mrs. Stevens has a black dog.

  • Mrs. Brad Stevens has a black dog.

  • Mrs. Stevens Alicia has a black dog.

How to use Mrs.?

First of all, do not use the title unless you seek permission and you’re given the go ahead. You can use the title in professional settings, especially for women in authority. You can also use this title if you are certain when sending out correspondence. It is also an easy way to address husband and wife when sending out wedding invitations.


What Does Ms. Mean?

Source: Instagram@aishamscott

This is a marital neutral title given to women whose marital status is unknown. The Ms. Title is quite different from a miss, as it only applies to a maiden. It is a standard equal to the Mister title which is for both married and unmarried men. A lot of women, especially middle-aged women prefer this title. It must go with the woman’s last name.

Examples for you below

  • Ms. Jordan-Bruno Adeline got married yesterday.

  • Ms. Bradley Marie lost her husband.

  • Ms. Bruno Stella is young, single and getting it.

  • Ms. Jordan finalized her divorce today.

How to use Ms.?

Because of the Ms. be Mrs. Vs Miss tussle, consent matters here. Once you’ve established the preference, especially in middle-aged ladies, it’s fine. Again, if you are unsure about a woman’s marital status or title preference, this is the safest bet. Learning how to use Ms. is one of the things to do after getting engaged. You would soon start sending out save dates and invitations. You wouldn’t want to piss anyone off.


What Does Miss mean?

Source: Instagram@joeescobardiamonds

The difference between Miss and Ms. is a huge one, yet people mix them up. The Miss title is one of respect to an unmarried woman. You will attach it to her name, surname or both. You may also apply it with descriptions or characteristics she’s known for. You have to understand that in the case of first names, she has to give the go ahead. Do not call a woman by her first name, especially in professional settings. Preferred titles apply.

See some examples below.

  • The car Miss Frederick drives is vintage.

  • Miss Roseline is a seasoned ballet dancer.

  • Miss cute smile is here again. Her smile brings warmth.

  • The Miss standing right there is the best head teacher we’ve got.

How to use Miss?

Use Miss while conducting a professional atmosphere with the last name of an unmarried maiden. That is if she prefers being really addressed as a miss. If you do not know her name, you can pause a bit after the Miss and she will fill in the gap.

In some societies, you can use the title with the first name lady affectionately. You can refer to the case of Miss Roseline above. And that is if the lady consents. In the absence of this, use a title with the last name.


How to Pronounce Ms., Mrs., and Miss?

Source: Instagram@lifeisbutadoodle

First off, the British and Americans have different ways of pronouncing and spelling Mrs. You will find the British write it in full as “missus”. And if they write is as “Mrs.”, they don’t use a period after it. That said, we will shift our focus to American English.

The pronunciation of Ms. Valerie Mrs. vs Miss depends on the part of America you’re from. Miss in general, has no geographical specifications. In America and the world over, Miss sounds like this, hiss, bliss, etc.

In the Southern part of the United States, you would hear Mrs. as “Miz-iz”. There is the letter “Z” final sound and undertone instead of the “S” final undertone as it’s spelled. This is how they understand it.
“Mis-is” is for the people of the north and north midland of the United States. They call the Mrs. Title with a weak final “S” undertone, unlike the “Z” of the south.

Ms. Title sounds like “Mz” in the southern part of the United States. So, if you happen to be there, you may not be able to decipher the difference between Mrs. and Ms. This is because they sound the same.
Remember, your geography is what tells the difference, except for the Miss title. It has a similar universal pronunciation.

When to Use Miss or Ms. on Wedding Invitations

Source: Instagram@ashleycreid

Addressing invitations for a wedding is quite sensitive to me, I don’t know about others. You should be very careful to avoid offending your guest. Some guests will find it offensive if you address them in any way they feel is inappropriate. Some even go to the extent of feeling attacked, mocked or disrespected.

So right now, before you send out your first invitation, let’s discuss this. Let’s talk about and understand when to use Miss or Ms. on wedding invitations.

If the guest you want to address your invitation to is a female child, use Miss. This is because the title is more age appropriate for her. There are no insinuations of marital status yet.

If your guest is an unmarried that wishes you to address her as Miss, go ahead. And if not, use the Ms. Title.
If you’re addressing invitations to a married woman without a chosen title, it’s safe to use Ms. Lots of married women in our new society would rather bear the Ms. Title. This is because it is marital neutral and helps them maintain a private life.
If you’re sending an invite to a grown-up lady whose marital status you’re unsure of, use Ms. It is safe, polite and all-encompassing.


How to Address a Woman If Marital Status Is Unknown?

Source: Instagram@sadieandtenell

If you cannot get across to a woman whose marital status is unknown, use Ms., address her by the Ms. Title and you can make an adjustment when necessary. This is the most polite way to address a woman whose marital status is not known. It covers ranks, marital status, societal status and every other kind of status affiliated with a woman.

Is a Widow Mrs. or Ms.: Etiquette Rules

Over the years, there’s been a little trouble over what title to address a widow by. Some school of thought thinks she should retain her married name. Others think she should either revert to her maiden name or match it with her husband’s. They say since he’s not alive, why bear only his name.
According to the old ways, a widow retains her married name until she gets hitched to another. She may at some point decide to go with her name. But with the issue of addressing a widow, you have to get clearance from her.

Before that, let us look at some Widow Mrs. or Ms. Etiquette you can observe.

  • Mrs. Jones Smith is traditional for widows. They will keep their married name until they remarry.

  • Ms. Mary Smith is contemporary and does not insinuate any marital affiliation.

  • Mary Smith is an informal way of address which is also polite and correct.

In many cases, she may wish to use different titles for different purposes. If you want to send invites to a widow whose husband you knew, then you can address as Mrs. Jones Smith. But if you are in a professional setting that requires no marital attachments, then the Ms. Title is fine.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to what or how the widow prefers her address. But if you cannot, use the Ms. Title. It is universal, acceptable, and you can never go wrong with it.

When You Get Married Is It Ms. or Mrs.?

Source: Instagram@sweet_caroline_photography

Thinking of how to change your name after marriage? Then, there are a few things you need to know about Ms. Vs Mrs. titles. If you decide to change your title to Mrs. after marriage, it means you’d share his name.

If you decide to keep your name after marriage, you can by the Ms. Title. In the event where you decide to bear a different surname than your husband, use Ms. For instance, some women would prefer to retain their maiden names, while he bears his last name. They only assume their husband’s names in maybe a domestic setting.

Again, you can go by the Ms. Title if you’re in the corporate world. Some women love separating their marital life from professional life. And the last is for those who do not want to affiliate any respect they get to their marital status. If this is you, use the Ms. Title.
At the end of the day, it’s about what you want. See some examples below.


Using Mrs. Vs Ms. in a Professional Correspondence

Source: Instagram@kevinlawhk

Truth is, with the giant strides women make in the corporate world, they don’t care for sentimental titles. The Mrs. Vs Ms. debate is at an all-time halt and Mrs. becomes obsolete. The Mrs. Title became obsolete because marital status is irrelevant in a professional setting. She may also decide to use a different surname for professional purposes.

The right way to address a woman in a professional setting is by Ms. Title. This applies to whether she’s married or not. The only exception to this is if she has other titles that outrank the Ms. Title. This will include titles like Dr., Capt., Prof, Sgt, Rev, etc.

Do not address a woman by her first name in a professional setting unless you’re invited to do so. It is very informal and unacceptable. So, if you’re thinking of how to use Mrs. Vs Ms. in professional correspondence, Ms. is the perfect one. You can’t make a mistake with that.

When to Use Mr. or Mister?

Source: Instagram@claudiiamg

The truth is that the men do not have as many problems as the women when it comes to title address. With the exception of a master which you address children by, Mr. and Mister are the same. They are both valid for adult usage.

Lots of people think that there is such a difference between them, but there isn’t. You can use them interchangeably. Although Mister is a fair and square compliment of Ms. You can use the titles Mr. and Mister for both married and unmarried men.
You will use it in conjunction with their last names or blend in two of their names. But if you are not certain about which to use, go with Mister Title. It is polite, all-encompassing and correct, like the Ms. Title.

A whole dedication to breaking the Mrs. Vs Ms. debate down to tiny bits. Lots of couples, professionals, and even family have a problem with addressing by right title. They find it hard to know when to use Ms. Vs Mrs. titles. It’s all here in this text to read and understand. Right from how to address a widow, to wedding invitations, professional correspondence, and even changing names post-wedding. It is simple, it is explanatory, and it’s enlightening.