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SURNAMES: SPANISH

Spanish-speaking people often use two surnames: the first is the father's family name, the second is the mother's. Generally only the father's name is used on second reference. Some individuals use a y (for and) between the two family names; include this only if both names are subsequently used on second reference.

Thus if Alberto García Rubio and Carmen Haro Santillana have a son called Alejandro, he will be called Alejandro García Haro. It is never incorrect to give both these family names but often one will be dropped.

A married woman may choose to keep her maiden name or to use her husband's, preceded by "de," after her own.  Thus Carmen Haro Santillana could be known as:
            Carmen Haro Santillana
            Carmen Haro de García
            Carmen Haro Santillana de García
            Señora de García
            Señora de García Rubio

Use Mrs. or Señora García on second reference.

Follow the individual's preference if this can be determined. If not, follow these general guidelines:
            Señor Gabriel González Videla                His wife: Señora de González
            Señor Gabriel González V.
            Señor González (not Señor Videla)

All accents on both capital and lowercase letters are retained.

The forms don (for a man) and doña (for a woman), signs of respect, are used with first names:
            Don Carlos, Doña Susana.

When talking about someone, the surname may also be included:
            Don Carlos Valenzuela
            Doña Susana Salvador

but don and doña cannot be used with surnames only.  The definite article is never used with don or doña.