19 Ways to Say “Goodbye” in French 

Photo of author
Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

If you have learned anything from our other French language articles, it is that manners are important, which is why learning to say “Goodbye” in French is important.

Greetings are used daily, regardless of which country you are in and the language. They begin just about every interaction, but what about wrapping things up in the right way? 

We always talk about first impressions being important but that doesn’t solely rely on an introduction, sometimes how you part ways is what leaves a “lasting impression”. 

You can have the gift of the gab, and present yourself well throughout an important meeting but if you fail to say goodbye in the right way you could blow the whole thing entirely!

Of course, you might not be in a formal situation with a potential employer or business client. So the right “goodbye” is also crucial. Especially in French with its formalities and etiquette. 

So to ensure you don’t blow a first date with an awkward farewell, or miss out on making yourself a potential new friend, we’ll take you through some common ways to say goodbye in french.

Below are some common salutations and phrases for an assortment of situations, to ensure you know the perfect way to part ways!

Saying Goodbye in French – An Overview

Au revoirGoodbye
À BientôtSee you soon
À Tout à l’HeureSee you
À tout de SuiteSee you soon
À Plus tard/ À plusSee you
À la ProchaineSee you next time
À demainSee you tomorrow
À lundi etcSee you Monday/ Tues/Weds etc
On Se Voit (…) AlorsSee you at/on (XYZ) then
Bonne JournéeHave a good day
Bonne après-midi Have a good afternoon
Bonne SoiréeHave a good evening
Prend Soin de ToiTake care
Fais attention à  toiTake care
On s’Appelle / On s’ÉcritKeep in touch
AdieuGoodbye (Lit. To god)

How to Say “Goodbye” in French

Au Revoir

We are starting with the most common way to say “goodbye” in French, which is “au revoir”.

Even with little language knowledge, you may have already heard the phrase before. But as it doesn’t share an immediately recognizable root with our own language you may be wondering what does “au revoir” mean?

Well, if we break down the word “revoir” we have “voir” which means “to see” in French, this can be seen in the English (french loanword) voyeur,  which is a good way to remember the word mnemonically. “Revoir” then, could be interpreted as “re-see”, or “see again” to give it better grammar!

“Au” is the French word for “at” so altogether we loosely get the translation “ until seeing/meeting each other again”.

Although the use of “au revoir” is considered adequate for both formal and informal situations, most natives reserve it for formal use these days! Typically this will be by pairing it with monsieur, madame, or mademoiselle (Sir, Mrs, and miss” respectively!). 

Read  Best Apps to Learn French (Personally Tested)

If we said “until we meet again” in English as a goodbye it would be understood but probably come across as a bit prim and proper and despite the strong etiquette Modern France is relaxing a little. 

The pronunciation has become a little lazier in modern times too. “au r’voir” or “o rvoar” is how it sounds.

Informally, you could add “mon ami” (my friend) to “au revoir” or simply the name of the friend in question. 

However, we rarely say goodbye in English to a friend, normally we would shorten it to “bye” at the very least, or use slang such as “later”/”see you” etc.

The French though well-mannered are no different, causally speaking. So they probably wouldn’t use “au revoir” with a genuine friend- but don’t worry we have more than a few casual options for you!


We have plenty of words and phrases in English for a casual goodbye, as do the French. First up is “Salut”! 

This one is heard all day every day, probably twice as much as anything else as it is used for “hello” and “goodbye”.

The word means “greetings” and is where we get the word “salutation” and “salute” from.

More often than not the word allez will be placed in front of it, which loosely means “all right” 

  • “J’appellerai demain” (“ I’ll call tomorrow”)
  • “Allez, salut!” (“All right, bye!”)

How to Say “see you” in French 

À Bientôt

So this one is often listed in the teaching materials as “see you soon”, in reality, it is more like “until”. The words “À bientôt” mean “at soon” but it is a pretty good French equivalent. Though as you are about to see there are many ways to say “see you”.

It is an informal way to speak and is usually paired with “tu” the informal way to say “you” rather than “vous” but isn’t considered impolite.

So unless you are in an extremely formal situation it is fine to pull out and use it as “goodbye”, if you know you will see the other person in a short while. But maybe steer clear of using it with the Boss or law enforcement etc!

À Tout à l’Heure

If you are seeing someone again but not “soon” then you might need something that says, “see you later”.

Now this doesn’t really have a direct translation (that is commonly used) but one thing you may hear in its place is “ à tout à l’heure ” which is “in a moment” or “at the hour” but it doesn’t mean immediately. 

Again it is for casual use and is sometimes even shortened to just “à toute”!

À Tout de Suite

Something more immediate is “tout de suite” which translates as “right after now” in French.

It is commonly used over the phone with friends if you are about to meet up as a way to say goodbye for the moment. It is very casual; you could compare it with “see you in a mo!”

À plus tard

The most direct translation of “see you later”’ would be to use the phrase “à plus tard” which is quite literal and once again informal. More formal still is to shorten the phrase to just “à plus” with the “s” totally silent.

Read  Common Canadian French Phrases You Need To Know

Be sure to only use this with close friends and family, as it is essentially slang.

À la Prochaine

“Prochaine” is the French word for “next” so this one is “until the next”, or as we would say in English “see you next time”. If you are visiting somewhere regularly and know the person you are addressing well then it’s a good phrase to use!

À Demain

Now when you make plans with a friend you may want to say “see you tomorrow” informally you would say “à demain” which is “until tomorrow”.

À Lundi etc…

Like the above two options when it comes to saying goodbye to a friend with plans in place to meet again you might want to add a day of the week when you say “see you”.

Here are the French days of the week for you; 

Monday lundi

Tuesday mardi

Wednesday mercredi

Thursday jeudi

Friday vendredi

Saturday samedi

Sunday dimanche

In friendly company simply add the “à” beforehand and you are golden! 

Eg; “à lundi” which means “see you Monday”. Remember the French don’t capitalize their weekdays as we do!

On Se Voit…, Alors

Again, when it comes to having plans to meet again in a place you might want the phrase “On se voit” followed by “alors”.

It is a typical way for friends to say goodbye when they know they are hooking up again.

“On se voit” means “we’ll see each other” in informal French, the “alors” part equivalates in this case to “then”. 

While not strictly a goodbye it is a common substitution for “see you”, when you know exactly when you will see the person. You can put words that we have already discussed into the sentence such as “demain” (tomorrow) or a day of the week, you can even add a specific time by using “a … heure(s).

See the following examples to understand what we mean;

  • “on se voit demain, alors” – “see you tomorrow, then”
  • “on se voit samedi, alors” – “see you on Monday then”
  • “on se voit la semaine prochaine, alors” – “see you next week, then”
  • “on se voit à 18 heures alors” – “see you at 6 pm then”

Other Ways to Say “Bye in French

We often replace the word “goodbye” with “have a nice day” or “have a great time” etc. The French use time-specific phrases to do exactly that and they are interchangeable with “goodbye”  with friends but also not uncommon in retail, leisure, and hospitality settings.

We will take you through “have a good day/ afternoon/ rest of the evening and night and then we’ll move onto some other causal synonyms for “goodbye” with more sentiment before wrapping things up!

Let’s take a look;

Bonne Journée

The French way to say “have a good day” is “bonne journée” or literally “good day”. This is as a “goodbye”, don’t forget that “good day” is also a way to greet someone “hello” but in that case, you would use “bonjour”!

Bon Après-Midi

This one is only for use on departure as well! It is the way to say “Have a Good Afternoon” in French.

Bonne Soirée

Hopefully, you will have noticed the difference between “bonjour” and “bonne jounée” which takes the greeting and makes it a goodbye.

If so you will see that “Bonsoir” which means “good evening” as a greeting can be changed to “bonne soirée”  as a “goodbye” to loosely say “have a good evening”.

Read  Ways To Say How Are You In French

Bonne Nuit

Often when we have plans or have been invited somewhere it can get late and instead of saying “goodbye” we will say “goodnight”!

In French, they say “bonne nuit” but you can also wish someone “goodnight” if it is a little earlier by saying “passe une bonne nuit”. The literal translation is “spend a good evening”. 

Passe un/une can precede any of the phrases we just taught you for the same well-wishes, see below;

  • Passe un/une bonne journée
  • Passe un/une bon après-midi
  • Passe un/une bonne soirée

Prend Soin de Toi

The literal way to say “take care of yourself” is a “prend soin de toi”. This is a great way to give a heartfelt goodbye and let someone know you care about them. Obviously, you need to know the person pretty well!

“Prend soin de toi” can be changed to prenez soin de vous to make it a little less friendly.

Fais attention à toi 

Likewise “fais attention à toi” is another way to express the same sentiment!

It doesn’t translate as well in a word-for-word manner but it is used regularly with family and close friends.

Again you could make it sound a little more formal by using the “vous” form like this; “faites attention à vous”.


The French do a lot of kissing, the traditional cheek kiss is a daily occurrence among most of society.

If you are talking on the phone then you might say “bisous” to end a call instead of “bye”.

On s’Appelle / On s’Écrit

Another “goodbye” reserved for the telephone is “on s’appelle” which means “we’ll call each other”. It is comparable to “keep in touch”.

If you are in written communication you could say “on s’écrit” which is “we’ll write to each other” instead.


The first casual goodbye in French that we gave you was “salut” which you will hear all day long, but being as it is very international, you will also hear “ciao” used throughout most of Europe to say “goodbye”.

Another foreign loanword that French speakers have adopted is surprise-surprise an English “bye”! 

This is especially true when it comes to youngsters!


Now it is common knowledge for many that the ways to say goodbye in french are “au revoir” or “adieu” so you may have wondered why you haven’t seen “adieu” until now….

The reason that we have left “adieu” for last is that it is actually considered a very ‘final’ way to say “goodbye” in French. 

Often it is translated as “farewell” in English which to be fair we hardly ever use in conversation as it seems antiquated.

The word “adieu” literally means “to God” in French which gives it a permanent feel. The root  etymology of its use means it is something more akin to “we’ll see each other when we’re next to God.” and therefore dead. 

Given the gloomy and solemn nature, you wouldn’t really use it in modern culture unless perhaps someone was leaving to go to war, or actually on their deathbed.

These days you will probably only encounter “adieu” in movies, literature, and plays.

Pick n’ Mix

Some of the above phrases can be paired with one another, in an informal setting. 

“Au revoir, à la prochaine”, for example, uses two of the above phrases and means “goodbye, until next time”.

Or you could say “au revoir, à demain” (“goodbye, see you tomorrow”). So get creative!

Goodbye in French – Final Thoughts

There is truly only one way to properly say goodbye in French and that is without a doubt “au revoir” but you will probably hear “salut” a heck of a lot more when visiting France.

We have given you plenty of salutations to use when you part ways, and lots of synonyms for good measure. 

Hopefully, you will have plenty to choose from and our vocabulary and examples will have shown you how to expand a sentence and mix and match enough that you are more than prepared to say “goodbye” to a friend in a casual setting.

And so, all that is left to say now is À la Prochaine- Until next time!

You may also like: