What is the difference between 太太 and 夫人? My book (外国人学汉语) translates it as the same word. “Woman (married)” and it says they can both be a suffix as well as a noun.

Question:Is there really no difference between the two?


In modern Chinese:

太太 is a common title for "Mrs." or a noun for "married woman" (in general)

Mrs. : a title used before a surname or full name to address or refer to a married woman, or a woman who has been married, without a higher or honorific or professional title.

夫人 is a more formal honorific or title for "Madam" or a noun for "married woman" (of high status)"

Madam :(often initial capital letter) a polite term of address to a woman, originally used only to a woman of rank or authority:

In short, 太太 is a general title for married women; 夫人 is a more formal/honorable title for married women;

女仕 is another honorific for women. A formal/ polite term for addressing to adult woman (single or married)

The difference between 太太 and 夫人 is somewhat similar to San (さん) and Sama (様) in Japanese

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  • Until you mentioned the Japanese equivalent I was still clueless. But now I understand it. Thank you for the explanation. – Otsukisama May 7 '18 at 11:18

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