Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. Mhd shaher's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Syria
      • Current Location:
      • Saudi Arabia

    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 154
    #1

    what do we call female??

    hi ..
    I just want to know :
    if we call a respectable man (sir).. how do we call a woman?
    and how do we for girls?


    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 576
    #2

    Re: what do we call female??

    (Not a teacher)

    Generally, these terms are only used in formal letters when the adressee's name is not known. Perhaps occupations that function to 'serve' people - waiting tables, customer services etc - use it to be respectful too. The equivalent to 'sir' for a woman in these cases is 'madam'. I can't think of an equivalent for a young girl, and unless the young girl was of very high importance most people would just refer to her by her name (and ask if they didn't know).

    The only time I ever used 'sir' in spoken language in my life was in high school, to address male teachers. To address female teachers I would say 'miss'.

    'Sir' as a title in Britain - that is, someone with the orders 'Knight Grand Cross' or 'Knight Commander' (that is, has been knighted by the monarch) - isn't anything to do with being respectable. It replaces the 'Mr' in the person with the knighthood's name. The female equivalent of this 'Sir' is 'Dame'.

  2. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #3

    Re: what do we call female??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mhd shaher View Post
    hi ..
    I just want to know :
    if we call a respectable man (sir).. how do we call a woman?
    and how do we for girls?
    We commonly use "Sir" or "Madam" (usually pronounced "Ma'am) in the U.S. as a term of respect. It is very common to say, "Excuse me, sir, I wonder if you can..." or to respond to someone one's request by saying "Yes, ma'am." It is not required (except in official circles, such as the military) but it does denote respect for the other. This is very important in a country where we have a tradition of breaking down social barriers.

    As for young girls, you might say "Hello, young lady." It is a bit formal but if said in a warm way it has a nice touch. For any girl beyond adolescence you'd either use "ma'am" or (more likely) nothing at all.

    Of course, I am of the older generation, so things may be changing.


    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 576
    #4

    Re: what do we call female??

    I must also stress that in Britain, and I assume the US where the usage of 'Sir' and 'Madam (Ma'am)' is about the same, that it has nothing to do with how respectable the person is. It is merely social convention - you use it with a complete stranger to show respect, regardless of how respectful the person is being. Indeed, you'll see people using 'sir' and 'madam' more if the stranger becomes increasingly disrespectful. As soon as the person becomes more than a stranger, it would be strange to continue to refer to them as 'sir' or 'madam', regardless of how respectable or not they are.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 60
    #5

    Re: what do we call female??

    Sir and Madam are generally used. But be careful not to over use them. Everytime you use them, you are lowering yourself (so to speak). For example if you are in a business meeting with a client it might be okay, but if you are trying to bargain a deal with a big business, it is not recommended to use it. This is because it makes you sound a little weak when talking to them.

    Also, we generally use 'Ms.' for women in the states. 'Miss' means unmarried and is a know outdated.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #6

    Re: what do we call female??

    Quote Originally Posted by macanudo View Post
    Also, we generally use 'Ms.' for women in the states. 'Miss' means unmarried and is a know outdated.
    Just to clarify for learners, we don't address women as 'Ms.' in the same way we use Sir and Madam (unless they do in the States).

  4. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #7

    Re: what do we call female??

    Quote Originally Posted by macanudo View Post
    Sir and Madam are generally used. But be careful not to over use them. Everytime you use them, you are lowering yourself (so to speak). For example if you are in a business meeting with a client it might be okay, but if you are trying to bargain a deal with a big business, it is not recommended to use it. This is because it makes you sound a little weak when talking to them.

    Also, we generally use 'Ms.' for women in the states. 'Miss' means unmarried and is a know outdated.
    Yes, that is true; they should not be overused. But I am not sure "lowering" is the right word to use. It should not be used to indicate that you are of less status than another person, nor is it normally taken that way. It is simply a sign of respect that can be given to anyone, including the homeless person on the street. Excessive use (as in a business meeting) may come across as weakness or obsequiousness, but on the whole it is simply a recognition of the other person, a statement that we are all worthy of respect.

    And it is also true that Ms. is widely used now, but only as a title, as when you introduce someone as Ms. Roberts. You would never say, "Hello, Ms."

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #8

    Re: what do we call female??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mhd shaher View Post
    hi ..
    I just want to know :
    if we call a respectable man (sir).. how do we call a woman?
    and how do we for girls?
    ***NOT A TEACHER***May I add that a few (some?) ladies in the United States will become angry if you answer with "Yes, ma'am." They will feel that you are implying that they are "old." Even some men resent "Sir." One time on a bus, a passenger answered the driver with a respectful "Yes, sir." The driver shouted: "I'm not old!"

  5. euncu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,314
    #9

    Re: what do we call female??


Similar Threads

  1. How to call ...
    By flytothesky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 08-Feb-2009, 18:02
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Jan-2008, 17:42
  3. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 19-Oct-2006, 07:28
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Dec-2005, 04:23
  5. Using call waiting feature
    By HaraKiriBlade in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Jun-2005, 06:55

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •