Writing to someone you don't know?

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Hello,

This may seem a silly qustion and i am not sure i am in the correct palce to ask, but if i am writeing to a women whom i do not know (A company execuitve for exsample) How would i adress the would it be Ms Miss Mrs Mizz, as i do not know if they are marryed.

Thanks
New Member14
Approved answer (verified by )
Hi yadayaba, thanks for your post and welcome to the forums. You question is quite a common problem. I‘d normally write:

Dear Sir / Madam,

or

To Whom It May Concern, (little too impersonal)

Senior Member4,023
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.
Approved answer (verified by )
No question is a silly question!Emotion: smile

Ok, usually when writing an important letter to a person you don't know (and you don't know whether the person is a man or a woman) you should start your letter with:

Dear Sir/Madam, or Dear Sir or Madam,

If you know the name of the person you are writing to, always use their surname. For example, you're writing to a 30 year old man called John Smith, you would write:

Dear Mr Smith,

If you are writing to a very young man, for example a John Smith who is 12 years old, you would address the letter:

Dear Master Smith,

Women are slightly more complicated: (In more ways than one! Maj - please don't be too angry!)

Jane Smith is 30 and we don't know whether she is married or not:

Dear Ms Smith,

Jane Smith is 12 - Dear Miss Smith,

Jane Smith is married - Dear Mrs Smith.

The problem is that some women that are married do not like to be addressed to as Mrs and like to remain Ms.

Therefore if you DO NOT know whether the person is married or not, just write Ms.

Hope I've been of help,

Chris
Contributing Member1,105
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
ALL REPLIES
Hi hitchhiker

thanks for the help and the frighteninly fast reply

yadayaba
(Hehe, we're scarily quick here.. we freak ourselves out constantly!)

Hope that helped.
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.
Sorry - I didn't realise Hitchhiker posted - it took me about 15 minutes to do my reply - I'm a really slow typer!
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Chris, we can't have that, this is the "Burger King" of English forums. You must be punished now according to the guidelinesEmotion: smile

EFL Flame grilled not fried
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.
Ok thanks you've been a great help.

The letter is written now and it is looking all the more professional for your help
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