à bientôt


Senior Member
A woman with whom my wife is acquainted and who has spent some time in France recently told her that the French "never use the expression à bientôt." I recognize the hyperbole in her use of the word never but I do wonder now how current or frequently used is this expression. I listen to Ici Radio Canada where I just heard the expression and it made me want to pose the question. Thank you.
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It is used in France but it is used to mean "I hope we see each other again soon". This means that it is generally only used when the time of the next meeting is uncertain. You might for example use it with someone in a shop or restaurant whom you see often but irregularly.


    When the time of the next meeting is uncertain, je dirais plutôt :
    "à un de ces jours"
    Je dis "à bientôt" si je pense rencontrer cette personne à nouveau dans un délai relativement bref. "À bientôt" est très fréquent.


    Senior Member
    Thank you for your responses. I asked a French person with whom I am acquainted and his answer was not as measured as these two. He said, "Well, I think that woman is nuts for many reasons. How can one make such an assertive statement while being wrong? She never heard of "à bientôt j'espère"? "

    Some people get very excited about language!
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