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Is it Ma’am or M’am? (Correct Grammar + Examples)

Is the correct word ma’am or m’am? Which is the correct spelling of the polite reference to a young woman? This is a commonly misspelled word in the American English language. The word is more commonly pronounced than it is written.

Learn which form is the correct spelling in this short American English guide.

Ma’ama term of respectful or polite address used for a woman.

Is it ma’am or m’am?

The correct spelling is ma’am. The reason the word form is correct is that it is a shorted version of the word “madam,” which is where the form “ma’am” originates.

When to use ma’am

Someone would use the word ma’am when referring to a woman in a polite and respectful manner. It is considered a polite sign of respect from one person to another.

A younger woman may prefer to be called “miss” rather than “ma’am” or “madam.” Although, this is purely personal preference.

Alternatives to ma’am

Someone may be preferred to be called “miss” or “madam” in the full form rather than ma’am.

Here are other words that can get used:

  • Miss
  • Madam
  • Misses
  • Dear

Sentence examples with “ma’am”

Here are sentence examples using the word “ma’am” to better comprehend its use in the American English language:

  • Ma’am, would you mind if I left early today?
  • Excuse me ma’am, you left your purse at the front desk.

What about the word mam?

The word “mam” is another word for “mum” or mom.” It is an informal way to call someone “mother.” It is more commonly used in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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