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5 Ways to Say Good Evening in French

At the end of a long day, it’s easy to fantasize about a glass of wine, a good book or a new episode of your favorite show. But before you can indulge in your preferred evening ritual, it’s important to end your day on a good note.

So let’s have a look at five common ways to say “good evening” in French, how they’re used and some example sentences. 


1. Bonsoir  — Good evening 

Bonsoir is a combination of the words bon or “good,” and soir, which can either mean “evening” or “night.”

This means that you can hear this phrase at 3pm, 6pm or 11pm, and it’s perfectly appropriate!


Bonsoir Céline, comment ça va ? — Good evening Céline, how are you? 

2. Bonne soirée  — Have a good evening 

While bonsoir and bonne soirée both translate to “good evening,” they aren’t interchangeable.

Bonsoir is a conversation opener, and bonne soirée is a conversation closer.

So if you’re having a conversation in the evening, you should remember which phrase you need to use to start and to end it. 


Au revoir, passe une bonne soirée. — Bye, have a good evening.

3. À demain — See you tomorrow

Admittedly, it can be difficult to know when it’s time to switch from bonjour and bonne journée to bonsoir and bonne soirée. That’s where this phrase comes in handy!

Telling someone that you’ll see them tomorrow isn’t exclusive to the evening, which makes it the perfect phrase to remember for use at any time of day.

So long as you won’t see the other person until tomorrow, it’s just as good in the morning, afternoon or night.


À demain Julien ! — See you tomorrow Julien!

4. Bon après-midi / Bonne après-midi — Good afternoon

We’ve established that bon(ne) means “good,” but après-midi literally translates to “afternoon.”

Combined, they make for a polite greeting in the middle of the day. Whereas bonsoir has a wide timeframe, it’s best to use bon(ne) après-midi in the early evening.


Je vous souhaite un bon après-midi. — I wish you a good afternoon.

Je vais manger le déjeuner, bonne après-midi ! — I’m going to eat lunch, have a good afternoon!

5. Bisou ! — Kisses!

Studying French, you’ll quickly become aware of the infamous la bise or “kiss.”

I’ll skip over the contentious discussion around how many  kisses or what cheek to start on—what’s important is that similar to how English people say “kisses” or write “xoxo,” the French equivalent is bisou.

Of course, this phrase can be used at any time of day, including the evening. Similar to English, you would never tell someone “xoxo” or bisou unless you have a close relationship with them. 


Je te parlerai plus tard. Bisou ! — I’ll talk to you later. Kisses!  

As with all words and phrases you learn in French, it’s important to learn the context of these different “good evening” phrases. So while we’ve given you a good explanation on how to use them, it’s worth consuming French media so that you can actually see them used in action!

FluentU is something you could use for this.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Recognizing and adjusting your language to the time of day is a sign to other French speakers that your language skills are improving. And these five phrases will not only show that you pay attention to time of day, but also formality.

There’s no better feeling than settling into your evening ritual after showing off your growing vocabulary!

And one more thing...

If you like learning French on your own time and from the comfort of your smart device, then I'd be remiss to not tell you about FluentU.

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.


For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:


Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."


All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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