Last time we talked about different ways of saying “Hello”. Hope, now you’re more creative. Today let’s enlarge our vocabulary and learn how to say “Goodbye”.
“Goodbye” itself is actually one of the most formal ways to say goodbye to someone. Here are some situations in which “Goodbye” is appropriate:
- You’ve broken up with your partner. You’re sad about it. You think that you may never see this person again.
- You’re angry with a family member. You say this as you slam the door or hang up the phone.
This phrase is quite formal and very emotional-sounding. It used for saying goodbye to someone when you do not expect to see them again for a long time. It’s the type of thing that two lovers in a movie might say if they’re never going to see each other again. You probably won’t use it often in daily life.
- Have a good day
These are pleasant, polite ways to say goodbye to someone you don’t know very well. You might say this to someone that you’re not very close with, like a co-worker that you don’t know well, an employee, a customer, or a friend of a friend. You can use almost any noun after “good” depending on the situation. For example, you might say “have a goodvacation” if you’re saying goodbye to someone before he or she leaves for a holiday; or “have a good weekend” when saying goodbye to a colleague on Friday afternoon.
- Take care
Take care can be used in professional situations, as well as more casual ones. It’s a warm, genuine-sounding expression that is usually received well by others. Keep in mind that you wouldn’t typically use this expression with someone you see every day. If you say “take care” as you say goodbye to someone, it usually means you’re not going to see him or her for at least a week or more.
- I look forward to our next meeting
This very formal expression is appropriate if you would like to continue doing business with someone. It lets the person know that although you’re saying goodbye now, you want to keep in contact with him or her.
- Until _______
This expression is a little less common, but you might use it if you know the next time you’re going to see the person. For example, if you’re going to see the person again next week you could say “until next week”.
- It was nice to see you again or It was nice seeing you
When you greet someone you often say “it’s nice to see you”, so when you say goodbye you can say “it was nice to see you again”. You can use this expression to say goodbye to someone you already know. Or if this was the first time you met the person, you can say “it was nice meeting you”.
- Good night
This formal way of saying good bye can only be used late in the evening when people are heading home for the night. Keep in mind that “good morning”, “good afternoon” and “good evening” are greeting expressions, and only “good night” can be used to say goodbye.
- Let’s call it a day!
Used to say that you want to finish and leave. You may say it after a long meeting with your colleagues.
Most of the time, we use one of these casual phrases when saying goodbye to someone in English.
“Bye” is the most common way to say goodbye in English. You can say “Bye” to anyone you know, from friends to co-workers to clients. It’s common to say “Bye” at the very end of a conversation, even after you’ve said some of the other phrases in this list. For example:
A: See you later.
B: OK, have a good one.
A: You too. ‘Bye.
- Bye bye!
Little children say “Bye bye”, and adults say it when speaking to children. When adults use “Bye bye” with each other, it can either sound childish or sometimes flirtatious.
- See ya!
Short informal way to say “Goodbye” to people you know well.
“Later!” is a cool, casual way to say goodbye. Men often use “Later!” when speaking with each other. You often follow “Later!” with something like “man”, “bro”, “dude”, or “dear”.
- See you later. / Talk to you later
“See you later” is not quite as casual as “Later!”. You can use it with almost anyone. You say “See you later” when you’re saying goodbye to someone in person. When you’re talking to someone on the phone, you can say “Talk to you later” instead.
- Have a good one
“Have a good one” means “Have a good day” or “Have a good week”. You sound relaxed and friendly when you use it.
- So long
“So long” isn’t very common for actually saying “goodbye” to someone, but you may find it sometimes in news headlines and other places.
- All right then
This isn’t a very common phrase, but some people in the Southern part of the U.S. use it. It’s very casual, relaxed, and colloquial.
- Keep in touch
This you can say at the end of your meeting meaning that you’ll be glad to hear from this person again.
Nice talking to you. Keep in touch
- See you later, alligator!
An informal expression usually used among Americans. It’s rather joking and can be used with close friends.
- Catch you later
This is a variation on “See you later” that you might use if you want to seem super-casual. You might imagine a surfer using this phrase.
- Peace! / Peace out
“Peace!” as a way to say goodbye comes from hip-hop music and culture. It sounds very casual. “Peace out” is the same but it was popular in the early 1990s. Today it sounds very dated.
- I’m out! or I’m out of here
“I’m out!” is also connected with hip-hop. It’s something that you can say when you’re glad to be leaving. For example, you might say “I’m out!” to your coworkers as you’re leaving your part time job for the day or a student might say “I’m out of here” to his friends after his last class, because he’s happy to be finished school and going home for the day.
- Smell you later
This is a silly variation on “Catch you later”. It’s the kind of thing that a silly uncle might say to his nieces and nephews.
- I gotta jet,I gotta take off, I gotta hit the road or I gotta head out
These are slang versions of “I’ve got to get going”. “Gotta” is an abbreviation of “going to”. Like “I’ve got to get going”, these expressions let your friends know that you’ve had a nice time and you’re at least a little sad to be leaving.
Bonus: Foreign-language goodbyes
These goodbyes come from other languages, but are often used by English speakers.
The Spanish word “Adios” is a way that English speakers casually say goodbye to friends. Sometimes we combine it with the Spanish word for “friends”:
“Ciao” is from Italian. When English speakers say goodbye this way, it sounds stylish and sophisticated.
- Au revoir.
The French phrase “Au revoir” sounds romantic to English speakers. English speakers sometimes use it jokingly. For example, if you’re leaving after hanging out with your friends, you can pretend that you’re really sad to be leaving by making a sad face and saying “Au revoir!”.
In English, the Japanese word “sayonara” is sometimes associated with action movies. You might see an action hero say “Sayonara, suckers!” before pushing a button to blow up the bad guys, for example. In everyday life, you can use “Sayonara” to say goodbye to someone that you don’t expect to see again.
There you have it! Don’t forget to practise these different ways to say goodbye and see which ones you like the most 😉