This is the standard way to say ‘goodbye’ in French.
You’ve no doubt already used it when saying goodbye in French to your French teacher. Perhaps you’ve used it to say goodbye when you visited a country where French is spoken.
But did you know that this phrase is not the only way to say goodbye in French?
If you’re a beginner and you didn’t realise this, you need this guide to help you.
This guide contains 30 alternative ways to say goodbye in French.
Au revoir: how is it pronounced and which customs are used when saying it?
I’ll get to the different ways to say goodbye in French in a moment, but first, how is au revoir pronounced in French?
Well, native French speakers would pronounce it or-voir, sort of merging the whole phrase together.
So, instead of saying au and then revoir, try merging these words together and saying orvoir.
When a native French speaker says au revoir to someone they know well, this is normally accompanied by an action known as faire la bise.
To faire la bise, you kiss someone as a farewell French greeting on the cheeks.
Note that if a native French speaker says au revoir to someone in a formal scenario, they would normally give them a handshake.
Different ways to say goodbye in French
Now let’s take a look at the alternative ways to say goodbye in French.
There are formal and informal examples, so each example will explain how they should be used.
Adieu is a formal way to say goodbye in French, but it’s fallen out of common usage.
It was used in formal situations in which someone is not likely to see or meet with the person ever again.
You won’t hear it used very often, but it is sometimes used in a dramatic / ironic way, as if you’re saying “goodbye forever, see you on the other side”.
2. Bonne nuit
Use bonne nuit if you want to say goodbye in French and the person you’re speaking to is about to go to sleep.
Bonne nuit means “goodnight” in French. It is used in formal and informal situations.
3. Bonne soirée
Bonne soirée is a word used to say goodbye in French in formal or informal situations.
It is normally used in the evening since it means “have a good evening”.
It is different from bonne nuit since it is used when saying goodbye to someone during the evening, whereas bonne nuit is used when you’re about to go to bed.
4. Au plaisir de vous revoir
You can use the phrase au plaisir de vous revoir when saying goodbye to colleagues.
It is a formal example of how to say goodbye in French and means “I look forward to seeing you again”.
5. Ravi d’avoir fait votre connaissance
This phrase is similar to au plaisir de vous revoir and should be used in formal contexts. It means “glad to have made your acquaintance / to have met you” and can be followed with au revoir when saying goodbye in French.
6. Bonne continuation
If you want to wish someone luck and you’re not going to see them again, use bonne continuation, to say goodbye in French.
It means “good luck (in the future)”.
This phrase is a formal way to say goodbye.
7. Bonne journée
Use bonne journée when you say au revoir to someone. It is used in both formal and informal situations and means “have a good day”.
8. À tout à l’heure
This is another way to say goodbye in French in both formal and informal contexts.
À tout à l’heure means “see you later today / soon” and is best used when you’ll see the person later that same day.
9. À tout de suite
You can also say goodbye in French by saying à tout de suite if you’re going to see that person soon after you’ve spoken to them.
It’s used in formal and informal contexts.
10. À bientôt
Use the phrase à bientôt when you want to say goodbye in French as a sort of temporary goodbye or to say “see you soon”.
It can be used for people you know and people you don’t know.
11. À demain
If you’re going to see someone again tomorrow, you can use this phrase to say goodbye in French.
À demain means “see you tomorrow” and is used in formal and informal contexts.
12. À la prochaine
If you’re not sure when you will see someone again, but you know you will, use à la prochaine to say goodbye in formal situations and informal ones.
It literally translates to English as “until the next (time)”, but means “see you next time”.
This is a casual word that’s used to say goodbye in French, and to greet people as well.
Salut just means “bye” in English, but it also means “hi” when used at the beginning of a conversation.
This is an informal word used to say goodbye in French.
14. À plus
À plus is the short version of the phrase à plus tard.
It’s used in informal situations and means “later on / later”.
If you’re writing a WhatsApp message or chatting online, use À + when writing to your friends.
15. À plus tard
Use à plus tard to say goodbye in French in an informal context.
It means “see you later”.
16. Au plaisir
The phrase au plaisir is the shortened form of the phrase au plaisir de te revoir, or au plaisir de vous revoir.
You wouldn’t hear it in upper class contexts but it is one way to say goodbye in French.
17. À lundi
Not only can you say à lundi, but you can also substitute lundi for any day of the week (to say when you’ll see someone again).
It’s similar to saying “see you on Monday” in English and you can use it in formal and informal scenarios.
18. Fais attention à toi
The English version of fais attention à toi is “take care”.
So, use this French phrase when you say au revoir to someone you know well in an informal context, as indicated by the pronoun toi.
19. Prends soin de toi
This is similar to the phrase “fais attention à toi” and also means “take care”.
It’s informal and can be used with friends and family.
20. Je m’en vais
Use je m’en vais in informal situations to let someone know you’re leaving.
It’s casual, and you can follow this up with à plus to say goodbye in French to your friends.
21. Je t’embrasse
Only use this one to say goodbye in French to someone you know well, like your family or friends. It means “I’m sending you kisses and hugs” and is one for informal situations.
Bisous should only be used in informal situations like je t’embrasse because it means “I’m sending you kisses” or, more simply, “kisses”.
Use it with your partner or your family to say goodbye in French.
23. Bon après-midi
You can use bon après-midi in formal and informal situations.
It means “have a good afternoon” in French.
24. On se tient au courant
If you’re not going to see someone for a long time, but you want to keep in contact with them, use on se tient au courant.
This phrase can be used once you have said goodbye in French and want to say “we keep in touch”.
25. Bon courage
If someone is about to depart and carry out a challenging task, bon courage is one way to say “good luck” and goodbye in French.
It kind of means “stick with it” and is used to give someone confidence with the difficult task, while saying goodbye to them.
Tchô is another way to say goodbye in French.
If you think it sounds Italian, you’re right, it is a borrowed word from the Italian language and is used from time to time in French – particularly by younger people in informal contexts.
27. Bonne chance
Say goodbye in French and “good luck” with the phrase bonne chance.
Use it near the end of the conversation to wish someone well.
28. On se voit
The English equivalent of on se voit is “see you…” but it literally translates as “we’ll see each other…”.
This French phrase is normally completed with a date or time that indicates when you’ll be seeing each other.
You might say on se voit le mois prochain, meaning “see you next month”.
29. Bonne route
If you want to say goodbye in French to someone who is going for a long drive, use the phrase bonne route to say it.
It means “have a good trip” or “drive safe” in English.
30. Bonnes vacances
If your friend is going on holiday, use bonnes vacances to say “Happy Holidays!” or “have a good holiday.
There’s a formal, plural way to say this too, which is passez de bonnes vacances.
Try these alternatives to au revoir
As you will now know, you don’t always have to say au revoir, even though you might have learned it early in a French course.
There are so many alternatives that you can choose from.
Try to vary the words you use when saying goodbye in French, and broaden your vocabulary to impress your family, friends and colleagues.
Say goodbye in French, with style.
Which other words do you use to say goodbye in French?