Goodbyes are inevitable. Whether you’ll be away for a short time or for the long haul, there are different precise ways to express your goodbye. But how do you say goodbye in French? In this article, we’ll go through the different ways to do that.
How to Say Goodbye in French
1. Goodbye in French: Au revoir
This is the classic French goodbye that you probably know already. You can use this in most situations, whether formal or casual. It means “till we see each other again”.
When you’re in a French shop or cafe, always remember to say “bonjour” when you come in and “au revoir” when you leave. It’s the polite thing to do when in France!
But if you’re looking for other---more interesting--ways to say goodbye, check out the rest of the list below!
2. Farewell in French: Adieu
This goodbye is a bit grim. It literally means, “to God” and it sounds quite antiquated when you use it. Still, you can use this in cases when the goodbye is quite final or you’re sure you’re never going to see each other again.Like, seriously, such as when when one of you is in his or her deathbed (told you, it’s grim) or perhaps you’re breaking up and never want to see each other’s faces again.
You can also say it jokingly to a buddy who’s facing something potentially horrible (like being called to a manager’s office or called for “The Talk” with the wife or girlfriend). If the above mentioned scenarios aren’t present, then steer clear of this type of goodbye in French.
3. See you soon in French: À bientôt
À bientôt can be used either formally or informally, when you know you’ll be seeing the other person again soon.
Going to be separated for a few hours only? Say “À très bientôt”. See you very soon.
4. See you tomorrow in French: À demain
If you’re planning to see the other person tomorrow, this is how to say goodbye.
5. Have a good day /afternoon/ evening in French: Bonne journée / Bon(ne) après-midi/ Bonne soirée
These French greetings could also be used as a formal way to say goodbye when you’re about to part ways with someone depending on the time of the day.
Say bonne journée when you’re saying goodbye during the day, bonne après-midi in the afternoon, and bonne soirée in the evening.
Casual ways to say goodbye in French
The greetings mentioned above are mostly used in formal settings. In a very polite society like France, be mindful of using formal goodbyes with people you are still in vous terms with (See also: When to Use Tu vs. Vous in France).
Now when you’re with good friends, it’s a different story altogether. You don't have to be too formal around them anymore. Loosen up! Here are some informal ways to say goodbye in French.
6. Bye in French: Salut !
You already know that “salut” means hi. But here, we're talking about how you can also use it to say bye in French. It’s very casual though, and is mostly used among very tight friends or teens.
7. See you next time in French: À la prochaine
If you wanna say goodbye to someone but you’re not sure when when you’ll be seeing him or her again, say “À la prochaine”.
8. See you in a little while in French: À tout de suite
This one is for when you’ll be seeing each other shortly. For example, you’re having lunch with someone but you need to step out quickly to buy something before you meet up again for coffee. Say “À tout de suite”. See you in a short while!
9. See you later today in French: À tout à l’heure
If you’re sure you’ll be seeing someone later that day, let’s say, you’re planning to meet up for apéro, say “À tout à l’heure”. See you later today.
10. See you later in French: À plus tard
Another way to say “see you later”, you’ll see this one often abbreviated by the French as A+ in text messages, emails, or chat.
You can also simply say “à plus”, the shorter version of see you later.
11. The Italian Bye: Ciao
There you have it, 11 different ways to say goodbye in French. Which one is your go-to French goodbye? Share it in the comments!
For a comprehensive list of French vocabulary, check out the French Vocabulary e-book below.