Dear Mr Brown
Envelope: Mr John Brown or John Brown, Esq
Esquire (Esq) should never be used in conjunction with any other title, as for instance the prefix Mr.
Dear Mrs Brown
Envelope: Mrs John Brown or Mrs Jane Brown
The traditional use of the husband’s first name in place of the woman’s actual given name can be political and preference varies from person to person. Check before using, if in doubt.
Widows traditionally retain their styling as Mrs John Brown until they remarry or choose otherwise.
Dear Miss Brown
Envelope: Miss Sarah Brown
Dear Ms Brown
Envelope: Ms Sarah Brown
In business, unless you know if the woman is married or not, always use Ms unless advised otherwise.
If a person’s gender is unknown or unspecified it is best to make every effort to find out so the correct honorific (Mr, Miss etc) can be used.
If a person’s gender is deliberately unspecified (e.g transgender or gender-fluid) then use the honorific Mx.
Dear Mx Brown
Envelope: Mx Alex Brown
Even though they are abbreviations in British and Commonwealth usage there is no full stop/point/period after honorifics such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Mx, Mstr, Dr or Prof.
In American Usage there is, however.
For In-Depth advice…
or matters that are not covered in our Forms of Address section, please feel free to