Different ways to say goodbye


Senior Member
I'm always worried when I say goodbye in English beacause I lack phrases, expressions..... French people are used to wishing so many different things when they say goodbye that I just don't know how to vary my vocabulary in English apart from "goodbye", "see you", "see you next x", "have a good week-end".
In France when we leave someone, we always take time to wish a "good week-end", a "good evening", a "good day", a "good recevery", "good luck", even a "good continuation" when we don't know what to wish !! etc etc We're always ready to wish everything to the other before leaving and this doesn't seem to be common in English. When I just say "goodbye" I feel frustrated I have the feeling that I didn't say enough.
So could you tell me what to say, what it is possible to wish to the other.
Thank you for your help :)
  • cunlt.hnil

    Of course you can say the same things in English as in French.
    - If you leave your colleagues on Friday you can probably say " Bye, Have a nice weekend!"
    - When you leave your friends who are still studying in the library for example then you can say " I have to go now, keep up the good work!"

    As I can also speak french so I understand your concern , but I am not a english native-speaker so, I am curious to see others opinions.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    French, English
    ".....French people are used to wishing so many different things when they say goodbye that I just don't know how to vary my vocabulary in English apart from "goodbye"..." etc

    Cunlt.hnil is of course perfectly right but I think that the problem is essentially cultural rather than linguistic. In English one can and does say all sorts of different things as formulae for leave-taking but they are much less formalised than in French.

    I would suggest that in French there are perhaps only a couple of dozen expressions (a number of which you cite) but that these are used so frequently that in actual fact they are reduced to the same "status" as our simple "Goodbye". As cunlt.hnil says (BTW how do you say your name? ...even when sober???) in English one tends to add some extra phrase (before or after) to make the "Bye" a little less dry but these do not necessarily form part of a standard repertoire. Some are indeed very common but one also improvises a lot.

    Perhaps it would be useful to compile a list of some of the more common English leave-taking expression which might go at least part of the way to helping you out?
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    Senior Member
    Thank you for your answers. So, could we begin a little list of English leave-taking expression?
    I begin: Have a nice day
    Enjoy the rest of your meal/holidays
    All the best

    Is it possible to say: Have a nice morning/afternoon/evening.
    Have a nice meeting. Have a nice shopping.

    I'd like the "basis" of the expressions. I noticed "Have a ...", "Enjoy the rest of..."
    Other ideas?


    Wa, I did not know that "Have a nice morning/afternoon/evening" sounds unnatural.
    Thank you so much Jo1234!
    Will definitely use " Good " for that kind of sentence from now on!


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    A couple of things.

    It might be interesting to note that 'good bye' started out life as 'God be with you', which was therefore a form of calling down a blessing on the person you were leaving.

    There is difference between the different English varieties. For instance, I would never say, 'Have a nice day' because it still feels too American for me to say, and I know some Americans themselves who don't like it because it sounds too vapid. I prefer constructions with 'Enjoy your ...', and those with 'good' rather than 'nice'.

    Hope you have a good meeting!
    Enjoy your break!


    Senior Member
    I need to check with you a little something else:
    Is it possible to just say: "Good week", "Good afternoon" (there must be here a possible confusion with hello)?

    By the way, is it common to say "Good afternoon" or is it said only in formal occasion?


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    'Good afternoon' is fine; said informally, it might become just 'Afternoon'.

    I don't think you can say 'Good week'. If you want to convey good wishes for the week before parting from someone, you could say 'Have a good week ahead'.



    Senior Member
    Scotland, English
    What about:

    "See you later"?

    For me, this used to mean "..later today", usually when confirming an arrangement to meet. Now it just seems to mean "goodbye."

    and the awful:

    "See you after"

    which always makes me want to ask, "..after what?"


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I always sign off by saying, "Have a day".

    On the rare occasions where someone points out that I did not say "have a good day" or "have a nice day" I reply that it would be presumptuous of me to tell someone how to live their life.

    But in almost every case no one really hears the lack of "nice" or "good" so for me it is "Havaday".
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