Calling Someone By Name

In English, it's very easy to call a friend or family member by name.  For friends, we always use the person's first name, like Joe or Sally.  For family members, we use the person's title plus their name, like Aunt Margaret, or Uncle Thomas.  What you call your parents and grandparents is really a personal decision and may be influenced by the type of household that you grew up in.


Different ways to refer to your father:




Old man





Different ways to refer to your mother:







If you are speaking to someone other than a friend or family member, it is best to use formal titles.


Mr. - This can be used when speaking to any male adult that you have just met, or have a professional relationship with.  Mr. is perhaps the easiest title to use because it doesn't matter if the man is married or single.


Mrs. - This can only be used with married women, so if you aren't sure if the woman is married, you should avoid using it.


Miss - This is generally used with unmarried or younger women, who are obviously not married.


Ms. - We use this when we aren't sure if the woman is married or not, or if she specifically asks us to use it.  In some cases, the woman does not want us to know her marital status.



Mr. Donald Trump is the president of the United States.

Mr. Taylor is the owner of Sunrise.

Mrs. Tana Ramsay is married to a world renowned chef.

Ms. Hilton might be in a relationship now.

Miss Swift has had many boyfriends.


*Note: You can use the titles with the first name + last name, or last name, but not with only the first name.  We can't say Mr. Donald because Donald is his first name.


What do you call your mother and father?  How about your husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend?


~ Samantha