17 Smart Ways to Say Goodbye in English
Tired of saying “goodbye”?
Want to take your boring “goodbye” and turn it into something friendlier or more interesting?
Whether you’re an ESL student looking to speak more naturally with your English-speaking friends, or a business person looking to connect with your clients, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 17 English phrases and expressions you can say instead of just plain-old “goodbye.”
- Common Ways to Say Goodbye in English
- Formal and Business Goodbyes in English
- Slang Ways of Saying Goodbye in English
- Other Resources to Say Goodbye in English
- And One More Thing...
Common Ways to Say Goodbye in English
This is the standard goodbye. It’s short, simple, and you can say it to absolutely anyone.
It’s appropriate for friends, family, co-workers, and business partners.
Even if you use some of the other expressions on this list, you normally still say “bye” as well afterward.
2. Bye bye
This sweet and babyish expression is usually only used when speaking to children.
Occasionally, adults will say “bye bye” to each other, but only if they know each other quite well and try to be flirtatious or cute. You don’t want to say this to a colleague or business partner.
3. See you later / See you soon / Talk to you later
These are appropriate for anyone, from co-workers to friends. Often, we say one of these expressions before saying “bye” because “bye” can sound a little short on its own.
Keep in mind that “you” is usually pronounced “ya.”
4. I’ve got to get going / I must be going
These are good expressions to use when you’re ready to leave a social gathering. It would be rude to say “bye” suddenly and leave in the middle of a conversation.
Saying “I’ve got to get going” lets people know you’re ready to start saying “goodbye.”
You might also briefly explain why you’re leaving depending on the situation.
For example, you might say:
I’ve got to get going. I have to wake up early tomorrow morning.
This expression acknowledges that you’ve enjoyed yourself and are reluctant to leave.
5. Take it easy
This expression is a more casual way of saying, “Have a nice day.”
“Take it easy” encourages the person not to work too hard and to take some time to relax.
Remember that “take it easy” is sometimes also said to an angry or irritated person, which means “calm down.”
6. I’m off
This is another informal way of letting people know you’re ready to say goodbye.
You might soften this phrase by saying something like “right then, I’m off” or “Anyway, I’m off.”
Using expressions like these before saying “I’m off” lets people know you’re about to announce something. Again, you might also briefly explain why you’re leaving.
For example, you could say:
Anyway, I’m off. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow.
Formal and Business Goodbyes in English
As strange as it seems, the word “goodbye” is rarely used to say goodbye.
It sounds very formal and is typically only used if you are never going to see the person again. “Bye” is usually more appropriate, even in business situations.
8. Have a nice day / Have a good…
These are pleasant, polite ways to say goodbye to someone you don’t know well. You might say this to a co-worker, cashier or casual acquaintance.
You can use almost any noun after “good,” depending on the situation.
For example, you might say “Have a good vacation” if you’re saying goodbye to someone before he or she leaves for a holiday.
Or “have a good weekend” when saying goodbye to a colleague on Friday afternoon.
9. I look forward to our next meeting
This formal expression is appropriate if you want to continue doing business with someone. It lets the person know that although you’re saying goodbye now, you want to keep in contact with him or her.
This expression is a little less common, but you might use it if you know the next time you’ll see the person.
For example, if you see the person again next week, you could say “until next week.”
11. Take care
Take care can be used in professional situations, as well as more casual ones. It’s a warm, genuine-sounding expression that others usually receive well.
Remember that you wouldn’t typically use this expression with someone you see daily.
If you say “take care” as you say goodbye to someone, it usually means you won’t see him or her for at least a week or more.
12. It was nice to see you again / It was nice seeing you
When you greet someone you often say “it’s nice to see you,” so when you say goodbye, you can say, “it was nice to see you again.”
You can use this expression to say goodbye to someone you already know. Or if this was the first time you met the person, you can say, “it was nice meeting you.”
13. Good night
This formal way of saying goodbye can only be used late in the evening when people head home for the night.
Keep in mind that “good morning,” “good afternoon,” and “good evening” are greeting expressions, and only “good night” can be used to say goodbye.
Slang Ways of Saying Goodbye in English
14. Later / Laters / Catch you later
These slang ways of saying “see you later” are common among teenagers. They’re very casual and should only be used with people you know very well.
15. Peace / Peace out
These casual ways of saying goodbye were trendy in the 1990s. Some people still use them today, but they can also sound outdated.
If it’s not an expression you hear your friends using, then it’s probably best not to use it yourself.
16. I’m out / I’m out of here
This is a casual way of letting people know you’re leaving, which should only be used among friends.
Using these expressions makes it sound like you’re happy to be leaving, so be careful how and when you say them.
For example, a student might say “I’m out of here” to his friends after his last class because he’s happy to be finished school and going home for the day.
17. I gotta jet / I gotta take off / I gotta hit the road / I gotta head out
These are slang versions of “I’ve got to get going.”
“Gotta” is an abbreviation of “got to.”
Like “I’ve got to get going,” these expressions let your friends know that you’ve had a lovely time and you’re at least a little sad to be leaving.
Other Resources to Say Goodbye in English
If you can’t get enough of “goodbye” alternatives, here are some other resources that you might also find helpful.
To start, you can watch this video to practice and review everything you’ve learned in this post:
The video below is by a well-spoken instructor who offers more ways to say goodbye.
There’s also FluentU, which lets you learn authentic English phrases like “goodbye” and how they’re used in real contexts with subtitled English videos.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
As you can see, saying goodbye might sound simple, but there are a lot of expressions for it in English!
As you keep encountering them in different scenarios, you’ll get an instinct for when to say them naturally—a sign you’re becoming fluent.
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.