Last month Carrie Anne from French is Beautiful taught us 5 ways to say hello in French and now she is teaching us 5 ways to say goodbye in French in this post. If you know the “hello” (Bonjour) and “goodbye” (Au Revoir) French basics you can add these key phrases to your vocabulary list to sound more like a Parisian. And check out her Instagram account as she’s created audios for each that she will be sharing over the next few days just for us, starting with à plus tard and à plus!
This is the standard, formal way to say goodbye en français. It literally means ‘to the seeing again’.
Pronunciation tip: It sounds more like ‘au voir‘ when said at the pace of a French person. Practicing it as two syllables instead of three is not only easier but sounds more French.
à tout à l’heure
Literally, ‘to everything to the hour’, this is the way to say good-bye to someone with whom you have specific plans to see again (or to speak to again if on the téléphone) that same day. You can shorten it to à tout with friends and family.
Pronunciation tip: The T at the end of à tout is pronounced in both versions.
This phrase means ‘see you tomorrow’ or, literally, ‘to tomorrow’. It’s self-explanatory, non ? 😉
à plus tard
These three words literally translate to ‘at more later’ and are the way to say goodbye to someone that you will be seeing later on in time or even during that same day. You can even shorten it to à plus to add a more casual, slang feeling to this good-bye when with close friends.
Pronunciation tip: The S is pronounced in the abbreviated version only.
à la prochaine
Short for à la prochaine fois (to the next time), this is a lovely way to say good-bye in a way that isn’t too casual, but that is endearing in its implication of a ‘next time’. To be used at a restaurant or a hôtel that you enjoyed so much that you intend to return to.
And here is a tiny bonus, a 6th way, that will come as a nice surprise to many of you. It’s easy to remember (and a great way to instantly feel like you are in an Italian film, shot en France):
A go-to, light-hearted good-bye that works in many Romance languages, ciao also is used en français in relaxed, friendly settings.
And never hesitate to add a bonne journée (have a nice day) or a bonne soirée (have a nice evening) to your au revoir to sound extra French when leaving a café, boutique, boulangerie or restaurant.
Other posts by French is Beautiful:
Carrie Anne first came to Paris to study piano during college. And, it’s safe to say she fell (deeply) in love. She became fluent in French, worked at a French-owned gallery in NYC, played French roles onstage and in film and taught French in L.A. before creating French is Beautiful and moving to Paris. She is a real-life example of Paris dreams come true.
While teaching French, she was inspired to create modern, engaging Paris-dreaming content for French-loving Francophiles. Determined to demystify the French language for inspired French-lovers, she created a collection of online group courses for devoted Francophiles and digital audio programs for inspiring travelers to guide anglophones to a level of fluency beyond their French dreams. Since her move to Paris in 2015, the French is Beautiful offering now includes group classes and cultural activities in France.
Her online students are a famille of elegant Francophile femmes located around the world, gathered to live out their dreams of watching French films without subtitles, ordering a café crème in a Parisian café or simply connecting more authentically with the Frenchies in their lives. French is Beautiful makes French dreams come true, directly from our beloved City of Lights.
You can find Carrie Anne having a café allongé en terrasse at Café Charlot, strolling the jardin at Musée Rodin or writing away at the Bibliothèque Mazarine.