say goodbye in chinese

14 Best Ways to Say Goodbye in Chinese for Any Occasion

While 再见 (zài jiàn) is the classic translation of “goodbye” in Chinese, it’s not the only way to bid others farewell.

Just as there are multiple ways to say “hello” in Chinese, you can sound more advanced by using a variety of Mandarin goodbyes as well.

In this blog post, you’ll learn 14 common phrases native speakers use to say goodbye in Chinese, along with audio pronunciations and explanations so you can be sure you’re saying exactly what you mean to say.



1. 再见 (zài jiàn) — Goodbye

This is the most vanilla goodbye in Chinese. It’s what you learn on your first day of Chinese class, and you can’t go wrong with it. 再 means “again” and 见 means “to see (someone).”

So in literal terms, it doesn’t really mean “goodbye.” It means “see you again.” However, you say this even if you don’t expect to see someone again.

2. 拜拜 (bài bai) — Bye bye

This is especially common in Taiwan. It came from English and sounds just like what it means: Bye bye!

You may also hear this with a Chinese particle at the end, as in: 拜拜 (bài bai lā)

3. 一会儿见 (yī huǐr jiàn) — See you soon

一会儿 means “a while,” so this goodbye is basically the same as saying “See you in a bit!” or “See you later!” It’s pretty casual.

4. 明天见 (míng tiān jiàn) — See you tomorrow

This is a spin off from 再见 and 一会儿见. Now we have 明天 at the beginning, which means “tomorrow.” In fact, you can put a lot of time words in this construction to mean you’ll see someone at a specific time.

In contrast to 再见, don’t use this unless you really expect to see the person tomorrow. Otherwise, they’ll just be confused.

5. 再会 (zài huì) — Meet you again

This is like 再见 but not as common. 会 on its own means “to meet,” so this Chinese goodbye feels kind of like “Catch you later!”

6. 回头见 (huí tóu jiàn) — See you later

回头 means “to turn one’s head.” What you’re truly saying is that you’ll turn your head to see them again.

7. 我走了 (wǒ zǒu le) — I’m off

Literally, this casual goodbye is “I walked,” but it’s used much like the English “I’m off” or even “I’m gone.” It can also be shortened to “走了” among close friends.

8. 玩得开心 (wán de kāi xīn) — Have fun

This is a good way to say something roughly equivalent to “Have a good day,” which doesn’t translate very well into Chinese.

Instead, you can say 玩得开心 to wish someone a fun time as you part ways.

9. 后会有期 (hòu huì yǒu qī) — We’ll meet again

后会有期 is a pretty dramatic way to bid someone farewell. In English, it could even have “someday” on the end too, because this phrase should be used when you’re not sure you’ll see the other person again.

10. 再联系 (zài lián xì) — Keep in touch

This variation on 再见 emphasizes simply staying in touch, rather than actually meeting each other. 联系 means “to contact” or “to connect” with someone.

Note that this phrase could be used politely even if the speaker doesn’t really intend to stay in touch.

11. 有空再聊 (yǒu kòng zài liáo) — Let’s chat again when you’re free

有空 means “to have free time.” 聊 means “to chat.” This is a very casual way to say goodbye, so if you use this phrase, you’ll sound very local and authentic. 

It’ll also sound like you think the person you’re talking to is your buddy. This could be taken differently (in a very friendly way, or offensively) depending on the context, so make sure to save it for people who are truly your friends.

12. 我先告辞了 (wǒ xiān gào cí le) — I’ll take my leave first

This is a polite and very standard way to leave a social setting. It’s kind of like saying “Pardon me” or “I must leave first.”

先 means “first,” 告 means “to announce” and 辞 means “to leave.” So, this goodbye means something like “I announce my departure first.”

You could use this with your friends and it wouldn’t feel awkward. You would say it casually, but it would still express respect for them.

13. 失陪了 (shī péi le) — Excuse me for leaving

This one is the most formal. 失 means “to fail” or “to lose.” 陪 means “to accompany.” It’s literally something like “Sorry for leaving,” similar to saying “Please excuse me” in English when you have to leave.

You could use this with your friends, but it could sound like you’re trying to use it humorously because it’s so polite.

14. 保重 (bǎo zhòng) — Take care

This is a great way to say goodbye if someone is going on a long trip, or even moving far away. 保 is “keep” and 重 is “important/heavy,” and together, the phrase is usually used to tell someone to take care of their health or safety. 

Resources to Practice Saying Goodbye in Chinese


I hope this post on saying “goodbye” in Chinese helps you leave a good impression on your friends!

Try a few out and prepare for them to be amazed.

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