Au revoir is the most common way to say “goodbye” in French, but it isn’t the only one. Learn to go beyond “goodbye” in French in 32 different ways.
You’ve spent the last couple of days exploring the streets of Paris, popping into Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées for some tasty macarons, meandering through the cobblestone streets of Amelie’s Montmartre and buying souvenirs at the bouquinistes along the Seine. In the shops, cafés and restaurants, you notice that the word you learned for “goodbye”, au revoir, isn’t always used. Curious, you find a nice café, sit down and open your Gymglish app to learn the many different ways to say “goodbye” in French.
By now you have probably mastered all the different ways of saying “hello” in French, along with some of the other greetings, but you still want to know how to say “goodbye” at the end of a good conversation. Au revoir, one of the basic French words, is the classical and standard way of saying goodbye, but it isn’t the only way. A fun little fact: the French word for “bye” is actually bye. Read on to learn the other ways to say “goodbye” in French.
Saying “goodbye” in French
When learning French greetings, the first way you will be taught to say “goodbye” is au revoir. Pay careful attention to its pronunciation, as most native speakers say it as one word, more like [orvoir]. Just like “hello”, saying “goodbye” is often accompanied by la bise, the French greeting kisses, or a handshake. For some, giving la bise might feel awkward at the end of a conversation, but for the French it is very natural.
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32 different ways to say “goodbye” in French
If you are a beginner in French and want to stick with one way to say “goodbye”, most people would recommend using au revoir. It can be used in both formal and informal situations, which isn’t always the case for some of the other ways to say farewell. The table below lists the many other ways to say “goodbye” in French and when to use them.
|Au revoir||Goodbye, literally “until we see each other again”||Formal/informal|
|Adieu||Goodbye||Formal; only used for a forever goodbye|
|Bonne journée/bonne soirée||“Have a good day”/ “Have a good evening”||Formal/informal; common when leaving a shop or restaurant|
|Bonne nuit||Goodnight||Formal/informal; used right before going to bed|
|À plus tard||See you later||Informal|
|À plus||Later!||Informal; abbreviated form of à plus tard|
|À+||Later!||Informal; written form of à plus|
|À tout à l’heure||See you soon||Formal/informal; used only when seeing someone later in the same day|
|À tout de suite||See you in a bit||Formal/informal; used only when seeing someone directly after the conversation|
|À bientôt||See you soon||Formal/informal|
|À demain||See you tomorrow||Formal/informal|
|À la prochaine||See you next time; literally “until next time”||Formal/informal|
|Au plaisir||Until we meet again||Informal|
Refining your goodbyes in French
Bidding someone farewell in French can often be a long process with native speakers and can sometimes feel like a game of ping pong as you volley back and forth the expressions listed below. A quick “see you later” in French doesn’t always do the trick. Incorporating these phrases will increase your vocabulary and help you become more fluent. The table below lists many different ways to part ways, from “let’s keep in touch” to “good night” in French. They can be used in combination with au revoir or sometimes on their own.
|À lundi||See you on Monday||Formal/informal; can be used with any day of the week|
|Bonne nuit||Good night||Formal/informal; used before going to sleep|
|Fais attention à toi / Prends soin de toi||Take care||Informal|
|Bonne journée||(Have a) nice day||Formal/informal; often used in combination with au revoir|
|Bonsoir||(Have a) nice evening||Formal|
|Bonne soirée||(Have a) nice evening||Formal/informal; often used in combination with au revoir|
|Bon après-midi||(Have a) nice afternoon||Formal/informal|
|Passe le bonjour à ton papa||Say hi to your dad for me||Informal|
|Au plaisir de vous revoir||Looking forward to seeing you again||Formal|
|Je t’aime||I love you||Informal|
|Bisous/Bises||(Sending you) kisses||Informal|
|On s’appelle||Let’s keep in touch||Informal|
|On se tient au courant||Let’s keep in touch||Informal|
|Ravi d’avoir fait votre connaissance||Nice to have met you||Formal|
|Je t’embrasse||(Sending you) hugs and kisses||Informal|
|Bonne continuation||All the best||Formal|
|Bonne chance||Good luck||Formal/informal|
|Bon courage||Good luck||Formal/informal; used when the outcome depends more on the person than on luck|
|Je m’en vais||I’m leaving||Informal|
Don’t say au revoir to Frantastique yet…
Keep your language learning momentum going and check out our articles on how to say “sorry” or “thank you” in French.
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