47 Ways to Say Goodbye in French, Beyond “Au Revoir” [With Audio]
How do you say goodbye in French without sounding like a broken record?
Au revoir … au revoir… au revoir…
If you want to fit in better with the native speakers and sound more natural when speaking French, it’s important to learn other ways to say goodbye.
In this post, I will show you 47 super useful words and phrases to cover everything from “see you later” in French to telling someone goodbye forever.
- Neutral Ways to Say Goodbye in French
- Informal Goodbyes in French
- Formal Goodbyes in French
- Désolé, mais je dois filer ! (Sorry, but I’ve got to run!)
- Bonne journée / Bonne soirée (Have a nice day / Have a nice evening)
- À la prochaine (Until next time!)
- Je vous salue (I salute you)
- Passez une excellente journée (Have an excellent day)
- Au plaisir de vous revoir (Looking forward to seeing you again)
- Je vous dis à bientôt (I’ll see you soon)
- Prenez soin de vous (Take care of yourself)
- Adieu (Farewell)
- Regional Variations on French Goodbyes
- Additional Parting Words
- Cultural Insights
- Handy Tools to Practice Saying Goodbye in French
Neutral Ways to Say Goodbye in French
Au revoir (Goodbye)
This is the standard and most common way to say goodbye in French. It’s appropriate for most situations, whether formal or casual. Use it with anyone you’re not particularly close to. Literally, it means “until we see each other again.”
À bientôt ! (See you soon!)
This one’s versatile and can be used in various settings. Use it when you expect to see the person again in the near future, regardless of the level of familiarity.
Ciao ! (Bye!)
Borrowed from Italian, this informal goodbye is popular among younger generations. You’ll particularly hear native speakers use this one at the end of a phone conversation.
À demain (See you tomorrow!)
Simple! This one’s great to use at the end of the day with those you see regularly at work or school. Meaning “see you tomorrow,” this phrase is suitable for parting when you expect to meet again the next day.
Je suis désolé, mais je dois y aller (I’m sorry, but I have to go)
The main idea with this expression is its sense of urgency, and it’s the “je dois y aller” which relays this message.
If you want to be more explicit and state exactly where you’re going, you don’t need the y and would just say where you’re going: Je dois aller au musée (I have to go to the museum).
Informal Goodbyes in French
Salut ! (Bye!)
“Salut!” is commonly used in French to say both “hi” and “bye” in informal settings. It serves as a casual way to bid farewell to your friend.
À tout à l’heure ! (See you in a little while!)
This is the perfect expression to use for if you’re parting with friends that you’re certain to see again later in the day.
À plus tard (See you later!)
This one’s suitable for casual and friendly interactions. Use it when parting with friends or acquaintances, especially when you plan to meet again on the same day.
À plus (See you!)
This is a shortened, more casual version of À plus tard.
On se voit plus tard (See you later)
This is a friendly and informal way to bid farewell, indicating that you expect to see the person again in the future.
À la prochaine fois (Until next time)
This casual phrase is used to express the idea of meeting again in the future. It’s suitable for friends and casual relationships.
Salut (Bye, See ya)
This is a casual and friendly way to say goodbye, similar to “bye” or “see ya” in English.
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.
Je me casse / Je me tire (I’m off)
Both of these mean relatively the same thing, but they’re more colloquial than je m’en vais, and they’ll be considered somewhat offensive in polite company. So, user beware!
Formal Goodbyes in French
Désolé, mais je dois filer ! (Sorry, but I’ve got to run!)
This is a little phrase you can use in informal settings, like when you have to leave a group of friends rather abruptly. The désolé(e) (sorry) renders this phrase polite so that you don’t have to worry about offending anyone.
Bonne journée / Bonne soirée (Have a nice day / Have a nice evening)
Use these expressions at the end of a conversation as you part ways with someone for the day or night. You might use this when leaving a shop or after chatting with a colleague you ran into on the street. You’ll most likely also follow this up by saying au revoir.
Both of these expressions are relatively formal but used quite often by native French speakers. The formality can be increased by adding Monsieur, Madame or Mademoiselle to the end of it.
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 the person you’re talking to again in the future.
Literally “until next time,” this is suitable for more formal farewells. Use it in professional settings or when parting with someone you might not know well personally.
Je vous salue (I salute you)
This is a respectful and formal way to say goodbye. Use it with individuals who are older, in authority or in a more formal relationship.
Passez une excellente journée (Have an excellent day)
This is a polite and formal way to say goodbye, especially in professional or customer service contexts.
Au plaisir de vous revoir (Looking forward to seeing you again)
You can use this polite goodbye in professional situations, like when leaving a networking event.
Je vous dis à bientôt (I’ll see you soon)
This formal phrase is appropriate for business settings or when you want to convey a sense of anticipation for the next meeting.
Prenez soin de vous (Take care of yourself)
Show consideration for the other person’s well-being with this caring formal expression.
Adieu isn’t a French goodbye to be taken lightly or used often. It’s 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.
You will get the idea from the song “Adieu” by Cœur de pirate, which is about a cheater getting very seriously dumped.
Regional Variations on French Goodbyes
Depending on where in the French-speaking world you are, you might hear variations on goodbyes. Here are some common ones to look out for:
- Salut: In Quebec, “salut” is often used as a casual farewell, followed by “bye.” This combination reflects the bilingual nature of the province
- À tantôt: In Belgium, “à tantôt” is a common way to say “see you soon.” It’s often used in both formal and informal settings.
- Adieu: In Swiss French, “adieu” is still used but doesn’t necessarily carry a finality. It can be used in a more casual context.
- A tout à l’heure: While this phrase is used across various French-speaking regions, it’s particularly prominent in African Francophone countries as a friendly way to say goodbye.
- À la revoyure: In Acadian French, a variation spoken in parts of Canada, “à la revoyure” is used to mean “until we see each other again.”
- Salut, à la prochaine: In Paris and some urban French contexts, “salut” is often used informally, followed by “à la prochaine” (until next time).
- À tout de suite: Particularly in the south of France, “à tout de suite” is used as an enthusiastic way to say “see you in a moment” or “see you shortly.”
- A bientôt, manmay: In Caribbean Francophone regions, especially in Creole-speaking areas, “a bientôt, manmay” is used, combining French and Creole.
- On se revoit, mon chum: In African Canadian communities, particularly in areas like Montreal, you might hear this mix of French and English, meaning “see you again, my friend.”
Additional Parting Words
Leaving for a trip? Saying goodbye to a classmate? Here are some French farewells for more specific situations!
- Bon voyage: This phrase wishes someone a good journey or trip. It’s used when someone is about to travel, emphasizing a safe and enjoyable voyage.
- Bonne route: Similar to “bon voyage,” “bonne route” specifically wishes someone a safe journey on the road. It’s often used when someone is driving or traveling by road.
- Bonnes vacances: Meaning “good vacation,” this phrase is used to wish someone well during their holiday or time off. It’s a friendly and caring way to say goodbye.
- À la semaine prochaine: Translating to “until next week,” this phrase is used when you expect to see the person again in the coming week. It’s a practical way to bid farewell.
- À demain soir: Meaning “until tomorrow evening,” this phrase is used when you’ll see the person again in the evening of the next day. It’s suitable for planning future meetups.
- Prenez soin de vous: This translates to “take care of yourself.” It’s a warm and considerate way to say goodbye, showing concern for the other person’s well-being.
- Fais attention: Meaning “be careful,” this phrase is used when you want to advise someone to take care and stay safe. It’s often used among friends and family.
- À la revoyure: An old-fashioned way to say “until we see each other again.” It’s more poetic and can add a touch of nostalgia to your parting words.
- Portez-vous bien: Meaning “take good care of yourself,” this phrase expresses a genuine wish for the person’s well-being after parting.
- À bientôt, j’espère: Translating to “see you soon, I hope,” this phrase adds a hopeful tone to your goodbye, expressing a desire to meet again soon.
- Bonne journée au travail/à l’école: Meaning “have a good day at work/school,” this phrase is a friendly and encouraging way to say goodbye in the morning.
- Merci pour la soirée: Translating to “thanks for the evening,” this phrase is used when saying goodbye after a social event or gathering.
- C’était une bonne soirée: Meaning “it was a good evening,” this phrase is used to express that you enjoyed the time spent together.
- Bonne continuation dans votre travail/apprentissage: Translating to “good continuation in your work/learning,” this phrase is a supportive way to wish success.
There’s a lot more to saying goodbye than just using the right words. The following information will help you nail the cultural aspect of French goodbyes:
- The importance of politeness: In French culture, politeness and respect play a significant role in interactions. That’s why using appropriate farewell phrases are essential for different situations. If you’re not sure what formality level to use with someone, err on the side of caution and use the more polite phrases, especially in professional and unfamiliar settings.
- Taking time to say goodbye: Saying goodbye in French culture isn’t rushed. People often take a moment to exchange pleasantries, inquire about each other’s well-being and express hopes of seeing each other soon.
- Kissing on the cheek: In many French-speaking regions, including France, Switzerland and parts of Canada, it’s common to greet and say goodbye with a kiss on the cheek (la bise). The number of kisses varies, with two being the most common.
- Expressing well-wishes: Goodbyes in French often include expressions of well-wishes, whether it’s hoping for a good day (bonne journée), a good evening (bonne soirée) or a good time (amuse-toi bien). These phrases express consideration and genuine care for whoever you’re saying goodbye to.
Handy Tools to Practice Saying Goodbye in French
Think you already have some French goodbyes down pat? Want to test yourself after reading this post?
These online exercises will help you out:
- “Ways to Say Goodbye in French” from Study.com: This quiz gives you a situation and then multiple choice options where you have to pick the most appropriate French goodbye.
- FluentU’s authentic French videos: Hear how French speakers actually use these words in authentic context with the native-language French videos on FluentU.
- “French Greetings and Goodbyes” flashcards from Quizlet: Mix it up with these flashcards to say hello or goodbye in different ways in French.
As you can see, there are many different ways to say goodbye in French besides au revoir.
With these 47 words and phrases you’ll know how to say goodbye in any type of situation, from casual goodbyes to formal farewells!
Salut ! (Bye!)