Tired of saying “au revoir” (“goodbye”)?
Know your French greetings but not your French “goodbyes”?
If you’re looking for new and interesting ways to say goodbye in French, you’ve come to the right place.
10 Useful Ways to Say Goodbye in French
Here are 10 ways to take your leave, starting with the most formal to the most casual:
1. Adieu (Farewell)
Adieu is not a goodbye to be taken lightly or used often. It is highly formal, and it has a sense of finality. Steer clear of this one unless you never plan on seeing the person again or one of you is on your death bed.
2. Bonne journée / Bonne soirée (Have a nice day / Have a nice evening)
Both of these expressions are relatively formal, and the formality can be increased by adding Monsieur, Madame or Mademoiselle to the end of it. You’ll most likely also follow this up by saying “au revoir.” This is not considered to be overkill, and indeed is a requirement for polite interactions!
3. À plus tard (Until later)
In its full form, à plus tard is somewhat more formal. Note that the final “s” of plus is not pronounced, unless you are going with the shortened, and more colloquial, à plus.
4. À bientôt / À tout à l’heure (See you soon)
These expressions are very similar. À tout à l’heure, however, does suggest that you are going to see the person at some point today, whereas à bientôt could mean later in the week, for example.
5. À demain (See you tomorrow)
This one is great for those you see regularly at work or school.
6. À la prochaine (Until next time)
In the same vein as the literal translation of au revoir (until we see each other again), à la prochaine indicates that you plan on seeing them again in the future. Don’t use this one for people you would like to avoid.
7. Salut! (Bye!)
Whether you use it as a greeting or a way to jump ship, salut is a malleable expression that can be used to express your salutations in a somewhat casual manner. (And if you’re looking for casual French vocabulary, don’t miss this post on everyday French phrases and expressions.
8. Ciao! (Bye!)
I know what you’re thinking: Ciao isn’t French, it’s Italian. Those clever French aren’t above borrowing phrases from other languages, though, which is why French has many borrowed words from English. Ciao is a great way to say goodbye to friends of any language.
9. Je m’en vais (I’m outta here)
If it’s been a long night at a party with friends, and you’re heading off in your own direction, this one is a great way to make an exit.
10. Je me casse / Je me tire (I’m off )
Both of these mean the relatively the same thing, but they are more colloquial than number nine, and they may be somewhat offensive in polite company. So, user beware!
Other useful resources on saying Goodbye in French
4 Ways to Say Goodbye in French: A solid post with more greetings and detailed explanations.
How to Say Goodbye in French: This is a great post that goes beyond just the language by explaining the customs and cultural intricacies.
And one more thing…
If you want to learn spoken French, then you won’t want to miss FluentU. With FluentU, you can learn French from music videos, commercials, news, and inspiring talks. FluentU lets you learn real French – the same way that people speak it in real life. FluentU has a wide variety of interesting videos like movie trailers, funny commercials, and web series, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native French content within reach. With interactive captions, FluentU lets you tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, this is what you see when you tap on the word “suit”:
And FluentU’s “learn mode” lets you learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
All along, FluentU keeps track of vocabulary that you’re learning. It uses that vocab to recommend you examples and videos and give you a fully personalized experience. Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.