It is not always easy to know how to say “goodbye” in French, as there are many different types of goodbyes. A “goodbye” can be sincere, sad, casual, or formal, depending on the circumstances. One can say “goodbye” knowing that one will never see the person in question again, or, on the contrary, knowing that one will see him or her again the next morning.
With so many different emotions and nuances to communicate, it’s no wonder that the French language has so many words to say “goodbye”! Different expressions will allow you to express different emotions in different contexts. Here is a collection of the most common expressions to expand your repertoire and say goodbye most appropriately in French
Au revoir is the Most Common Way of Saying Goodbye in French, and it means goodbye literally. Au revoir can be used formally or informally. So you can use this expression in any situation.
Bonne journée/Bonne soirée/ bonne nuit
It is a way to end a conversation in any situation. These phrases can be used in both formal and informal settings.
-Bonne journée means have a good day.
-Bonne soirée means have a good evening.
-Bonne nuit means have a good night.
means both “hello” and “goodbye”. Used in an informal setting.
À plus tard
Is used more in an informal setting as well, which means that we will see the person again later in the day.
As an alternative to “à plus tard”, you can use a shorter-expression which is “à plus”, and By SMS or email, we will use: A+.
Be sure to pronounce the s in the word plus.
À tout à l’heure
In this case, we don’t say “au revoir” to the person because we will see them again later in the day.
À tout de suite
Means “See you in a minute” – so to be used only when you’ll see the other person again right away.
This sentence can, for example, be used on the phone: you agree to meet the person you are talking to within a few minutes.
In an informal context, you can use a shorter-expression “à tout”. This is a common expression used in spoken French today.
Please note that it is not correct to write “à tout” as this is a contraction done only orally. It’s the contraction of ” à tout de suite ” or ” à tout à l’heure”.
Formal and informal too. Said when you don’t know when you will see your contact again.
À la prochaine
Is used in an informal setting and means that we will see the person again but we do not know when.
Formal and informal. We will see the person again the next day. It translates to see you tomorrow in English.
À un de ces quatre
It’s a casual way to say goodbye in French. You can use “à un de ces quatre” which means see you later on, see you soon.
Is a common way to say goodbye in French. au plaisir is a shorter-expression of au plaisir de te vous revoir or au plaisir de te vous revoir. It translates- to the pleasure of seeing you again, so a bit like until we meet again.
Which means until God. Usually means that we will not see the person again.
So you’re perfectly equipped to say “goodbye” in a variety of ways! What other words or phrases have you read or heard for “goodbye”? And what are your favorites? Let us know your thoughts in the comments space below.