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New Member
Canada, English
Moderator note: multiple threads merged to create this one

Is there a French version of the salutation Ms.? In many cases it's preferable to address a woman as Ms. Something as opposed to Mrs. Something or Miss Something. Does the use of Mlle and Mme correspond to the age and/or social status of a woman?
I am working on a bilingual database of contact names and any help on this matter would be most appreciated!
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  • Sam

    France / Français - Italiano
    In any case it is a matter of social status , but it could be a matter of age
    If you address a single woman , you should use Melle, short form for mademoiselle.
    If you adress a married woman, you have to use Mme.
    Also after a certain age, even if the woman is still single, it is "politically correct" to use Mme (short form for madame).
    i hope it is helpful for you.


    Canada - french
    We do not use Miss, nor Ms, nor Mlle anymore....... the correct use is Mrs. or Mme (madame) or nothing at all.

    Jean Jerome

    New Member
    I know that Madame and Mademoiselle are the traditional french titles, but does any title exist for women that does not depend on marital status, something like the english "Ms."
    merci beaucoup


    Senior Member
    A mon avis, on dit Madame pratiquement dans tous les cas, et on réserve Mademoiselle pour les très jeunes filles - ou les très vieilles filles, qui y tiennent souvent - ou pour les actrices de la Comédie Française.

    Jean Jerome

    New Member
    Oh, je vois, mais c'est tres bizzare. ma prof d'espagnol s'apelle Mademoiselle meme qu'elle est si vieille parce qu'elle ne s'est pas marriee deja.


    Senior Member
    France, Français
    madame, mademoiselle and monsieur are written without capitalisation (madame Dupont) except when used to talk about someone's title (Madame le juge)


    Senior Member
    English Canada
    Comment adresser une dame d’une façon formelle sans savoir si elle est mariée? En anglais on dit Ms.

    En Français il me semble qu’il faut utiliser Madame.

    Merci d’avance.


    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    We do not use Miss, nor Ms, nor Mlle anymore....... the correct use is Mrs. or Mme (madame) or nothing at all.
    I just came across this old thread.

    I presume the above quote applies only to Canada? And by saying "nothing at all" what do you do in a letter?

    Mary Jones
    23 Main Street

    Dear Mary Jones


    What is happening these days in France?

    In Australia we tend to use Ms unless we know it's a married woman who likes to be addressed as Mrs (but many married women prefer Ms) , which of course makes it very confusing and difficult. :)

    Also, in Australia there is no fullstop/period after Mrs, Ms or Mr


    Senior Member
    I presume the above quote applies only to Canada
    i believe so....
    Ms = Melle.
    Mrs = Mme.
    Mr = M.
    All forms should be followed by a "full stop" as they are abreviations.
    In Australia we tend to use Ms unless we know it's a married woman who likes to be addressed as Mrs (but many married women prefer Ms)
    and i believe it's the total opposite !
    I think in a letter to a customer for example, you would chose Mme, enless you know the lady is not maried. But generally, companies sneak their away around by writting Melle/Mme X ...


    Senior Member
    France, french
    I guess that "Mrs" is really canadian, because in french, the abbreviation used is indeed "Mlle" (or Melle, even if I prefer Mlle), as said by Sam. And it seems normal because "Mrs" is an english abbreviation...

    In a letter, if you don't know the nickname of a person, you put :
    Mme UNTEL
    Mlle UNTEL

    At the opening of a french letter in a formal context, when I don't know who will read the letter (it is like when you send a letter at your bank, social security office ...), I write

    Monsieur, madame, ...

    In a formal context, if you know the name of the person, you will put

    Monsieur UNTEL
    Madame UNTEL
    Mademoiselle UNTEL

    If it is a letter for a friend, well just call him as you are used to !

    Cher Pierre,


    New Member
    Hi there,

    I would like to know if there is an equivalent in French for the title "Mz." I know "Miss" is Mademoiselle but I have never heard of a word for "Mz."

    Ex: Mz. Carpenter was speaking to her class.


    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    Welcome to the Forum Bria!

    I think you mean Ms.

    (For others' information, this can be used to eliminate labeling a woman as married or not, in both writing and speech in AE, and is pronounced miz [rhymes with fizz]. It is now quite common in a professional context.)

    I have only seen a similar French abbreviation ," Mad. ", used in official correspondence sometimes in Québec, but otherwise I don't think French generally uses this neutral term. You have to choose either Mademoiselle (Mlle) or Madame (Mme).
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    Senior Member
    Canada; English
    The trend described by wildan1 has progressed to the point where a substantial number of people drop all such labels when addressing correspondence. E.g., instead of Mr John Smith, simple John Smith; in place of Mrs/Ms Eva Morales, simply Eva Morales. Even in the salutation of the letter:
    Dear John Smith, or [US usage] Dear John Smith:
    Dear Eva Morales, or [US usage] Dear Eva Morales:
    Particularly the last-mentioned manifestation of this trend is by no means universal yet.
    Incidentally, the label "Miss" (Mademoiselle) has almost completely disappeared in North America.


    Senior Member
    American English
    Note that in spoken (not written) English, it is common to address an adult woman whose name you do not know as "ma'am." It is the equivalent of "Sir" for a man.

    (For example, if you saw someone walking in front of you drop something on the ground, you could say to them: "Excuse me, ma'am? You dropped this...")


    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    This is American English usage, and is not common in British English, where generally only the Queen is addressed as Ma'am.
    True, but as far as I know, when you address Her Majesty, ma'am rhymes with bum; whereas the Ma'am in AE that you can say to anyone on the street rhymes with spam :rolleyes:


    New Member
    I am writing an article for my french class and we're not allowed to use just first names (obviously) so we have to talk about our characters using titles or 'la victime'.
    One of my characters (not the victim) is an unmarried 17 year old girl so would I talk about her using Mlle. or Mme.?
    Thanks :)


    Senior Member
    France, Français
    you may say Mlle <her last name> but this is very formal or even quite odd if the speaker is young.
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