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Different Ways to Say Goodbye in English

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It’s important to learn how to say goodbye in English because this is a crucial conversational skill to have as a new learner. In any language, saying goodbye at the end of a conversation or when leaving a group is polite. It lets the other party know that you respect them, and it makes your leave less abrupt.

In this article, we’ll go over a number of ways to say goodbye in English. We cover the most common words and phrases for a variety of situations, so you’ll never have to leave awkwardly again! 

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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in English Table of Contents
  1. The Two Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye in English
  2. Goodbye Expressions in English for Any Situation
  3. Goodbye in English Slang & Pop Culture
  4. Final Thoughts

1. The Two Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye in English

In the United States, there are two goodbye words you’re going to hear often. These are:

GoodbyeThis one is more formal, but it’s still casual enough to use with friends and family.
ByeThis means the exact same thing as “goodbye,” but is shorter and a little bit less formal. 

If you only learn a couple ways to say goodbye in English today, it should be these. 

2. Goodbye Expressions in English for Any Situation

Most Common Goodbyes

Now, let’s move on to more specific English phrases for goodbye. In the following sections, I’ll give you words and phrases to say goodbye based on the situation or context. I’ll also provide examples for each one, so you can see how to use them.

A- Formal

Here are some formal ways to say goodbye in English. These are fairly versatile, and you can use them in most situations that call for formal language.

“Thank you for your time.”

You can use this phrase in formal situations, after someone has offered you their time or helped you with something. This is also common after meetings or appointments. Keep in mind that you can use this phrase in both spoken and written communication. 

Example:

You:
“Excuse me, how can I set up a bank account here?”

Bank Clerk:
“I can help you with that over here.”

[After your account is set up…]

You:
“Thank you for your time.”


“I enjoyed our talk.”

This is something someone would say after talking with a client, patient, or anyone else in a more formal environment. 

Example:

A therapist is finishing a session with a patient.

Therapist:
“I enjoyed our talk. See you again this time next week.”

Patient:
“Thank you. See you then.”

“It was a pleasure speaking with you.”

This is something a client may tell a customer, especially in more formal or regulated environments, such as a bank or other financial institution. 

Example:

A financial adviser has just finished talking with a client.

Financial Adviser:
“It was a pleasure speaking with you.”

Client:
“Thank you, you too. See you next month.”

“I look forward to our next meeting.”

People often use this phrase when they plan on seeing the other person (or people) again in a formal environment. 

Example:

A man has just had a consultation with an interior decorator to do some work on his house.

Man:
“I like your qualifications. Can you start next week?”

Decorator:
“Of course, thank you. I look forward to our next meeting.”

“Thank you for scheduling your appointment. We’ll see you then.”

This is a common way of saying goodbye in formal situations, especially when a customer or client is leaving.

Example:

You have just scheduled a dentist appointment.

Desk Clerk:
“Thank you for scheduling your appointment. We’ll see you then.”

You:
“Thank you. See you then.”

B- Making Arrangements for Another Meeting

College Student Waving Goodbye to Her Friends

We’ve covered how to say goodbye in formal situations, but what about when things are more laid-back? Here are some English goodbye phrases you can use to plan another meeting with a friend.

“See you later.”

This is a very common phrase to use when you’re about to part ways with a friend (or group of friends). It means that you plan on seeing them again, but you’re not sure exactly when. 

Example:

You and a group of friends just got done watching a movie at the theater. You’re about to leave for home.

You:
“I need to go home now. See you later.”

A Friend:
“Bye. See you later.”

“Catch you later.”

This phrase has the exact same meaning as “see you later,” but is significantly more casual. 

Example:

You see one of your friends at the grocery store, and start talking to them. After a few minutes, you need to end the conversation.

You:
“Thanks for the talk. Catch you later.”

Friend:
“You too.”

“See you around.”

This one is very similar to the two phrases above. 

Example:

You’re about to go home after chatting with someone at your book club. 

You:
“Well, see you around.”

Other Person:
“Thanks, you too.”

“See you tomorrow.”

When you say “See you tomorrow,” it means that you actually plan on seeing them tomorrow, usually because you set a date with that person. 

Example:

You see a friend at the library, and start talking with them. You decide to make plans together.

You:
“Are you free tomorrow?”

Friend:
“Sure. Do you want to get coffee?”

You:
“That sounds good.”

Friend:
“Great. See you tomorrow.”

“See you at eight.”

In this phrase, you can replace “eight” with any other time. This is used in situations similar to the one above.

Example:

You want to confirm what time you and your friend will get coffee tomorrow.

You:
“What time should we meet for coffee?”

Friend:
“How about ten?”

You:
“Sure. See you at ten.”

“See you in a couple weeks.”

This is something you would say to someone if you plan on meeting with them in a couple of weeks. You can replace “a couple weeks” with any other extended time period.

Example:

Your mother just called to let you know she’ll be coming for a visit next month. 

Your Mother:
“I’ll be coming down there next month to see you.”

You:
No Mom, please don’t.” “I look forward to it. See you next month!”

Additional Note

Most of the phrases in this section can also be used as a question. For example, if you want to confirm when you’ll be seeing someone next, you can say the relevant phrase as a question.

Example:

You’re making plans to see an old friend.

You:
“Maybe we can go see the hockey game together.”

Friend:
“Yeah, that’s a good idea.”

You:
“Great! See you next weekend?

Friend:
“Yep, at nine o’clock sharp.”

C. Seeing Someone Off

Couple Parting Ways at the Airport

It can be painful to say goodbye to someone you care about, especially when you know they’ll be gone a long time, or are going somewhere far away. Here are some special goodbye phrases you can use for situations like this.

“Take care.”

Use this phrase to let someone know you want them to take care of themselves while they’re gone.

Example:

Your best friend is about to leave on a plane for another country during her vacation. 

You:
“Have fun and take care.”

Friend:
“Thank you, I will.”

“Drive safe.”

Use this phrase to let someone know you want them to drive safely, especially if you know they’ll be driving a long distance or in dangerous driving conditions.

Example:

Your boyfriend or girlfriend is going to drive several hours in bad weather for an important meeting. 

You:
“It’s supposed to snow a lot today. Drive safe.”

BF/GF:
“I promise I’ll drive safely. I love you.”

“Safe travels.”

This one is a more generic goodbye phrase for when someone will be traveling. It means you want them to be safe during their travels.

Example:

Your aunt tells you that she’ll be traveling outside the country for a few weeks. 

You:
“That sounds like fun. Safe travels.”

Aunt:
“Thank you.”

“Have a safe trip home.”

You can say this to someone when they’re about to leave for home.

Example:

Your friend is about to head home after spending the day together with you.

You:
“Have a safe trip home.”

Friend:
“Thank you, I will.”

“I’ll miss you.”

You can say this to someone you really care about before they leave. 

Example:

Your grandparents are about to leave after a visit.

You:
“I enjoyed seeing you. I’ll miss you.”

Grandparent:
“We’ll miss you too.”

“Don’t be gone too long.”

If you’re really going to miss someone after they leave, you can say this to them. It shows the other person that you’ll miss them and look forward to the next time you can see them again.

Example:

Your spouse is going away on a long business trip.

You:
“I’ll miss you. Don’t be gone too long.”

Spouse:
“I’ll miss you too. See you next week.”

“Call me when you get there.”

Say this to someone to let them know you care about their safety while traveling. It means that you expect a phone call (or text message) from them when they arrive, so you know they’re safe. This is especially common for a parent or grandparent to tell their child or grandchild.

Example:

You’re about to drive several hours back home after visiting your father. 

You:
“Thank you for our visit. I should leave soon.”

Father:
“Thank you. Call me when you get there.”

“I love you.”

Many times, saying goodbye to someone we care about involves saying “I love you,” especially if it will be a while before you see them again.

Example:

You and your mother are about to part ways after a long visit.

You:
“I enjoyed our visit. I love you.”

Mother:
“I love you too. Bye.”

“Farewell.”

This goodbye phrase may be a little bit outdated, but some people still say this. It’s basically a way of letting the other person know you want them to be safe while they’re away.

Example:

A large family reunion is coming to an end, and your relatives are beginning to leave.

You:
“Safe travels. Farewell.”

A Relative:
“Thank you. Goodbye.”

D. Leaving a Group or Party in a Hurry

It can be very awkward to leave a group of people without saying anything. If you need to quickly say goodbye in English conversations involving a lot of people, there are a few phrases you can use to let people know you’ll be leaving soon.

“I gotta run / fly / jet.”

This is a very informal way of letting people know you’re about to leave, and is fine for any kind of casual gathering. The words “run,” “fly,” and “jet” are pretty much interchangeable, as they all mean that you need to leave quickly. 

Example:

You’re at a potluck lunch with some friends, and suddenly realize you need to leave.

You:
“I gotta run!”

Friend:
“Oh, okay. See you later.”

“I’ll need to get going soon.”

This is a slightly more formal and polite way of saying that you need to leave. It’s not really saying “goodbye,” but it’s a way of letting others know you’ll have to go. 

Example:

You’re at a friend’s birthday party, but you aren’t able to stay for very long.

You:
“I’m so sorry, but I’ll need to get going soon.”

Friend:
“No, it’s okay. Thanks for coming.”

“I can’t stay much longer.”

This phrase is almost the same as the one above. 

Example:

You’re spending time with a couple of friends, but you have something else you need to do soon.

You:
“Sorry, but I can’t stay much longer.”

Friend:
“Ah, that’s okay. See you around.”

“There’s someplace I need to be.”

You can use this phrase to let others know you need to leave in order to be somewhere else, especially if it’s another responsibility you have. ‘

Example:

You’re at a dinner party with some friends, but you get a phone call about an emergency back at home.

You:
“Sorry, but there’s someplace I need to be.”

Friend:
“It’s okay. Good luck.”

“Sorry to leave so soon, but I have to ___.”

With this goodbye phrase, you can actually let others know the reason you need to leave. In some cases, this can make your leaving seem less rude or abrupt. 

Example:

You’re out socializing with some of your coworkers, but you have to leave early to pick up your kids from school.

You:
“Sorry to leave so soon, but I have to pick up my kids from school.”

Coworker:
“No worries. See you tomorrow.”

“I’m off.”

This is another slightly informal way of letting others know you need to leave. It’s almost the same as “I gotta run.” 

Example:

You’re about to leave for a get-together with friends, so you let your spouse know when you leave.

You:
“I’m off.”

Spouse:
“Okay. Have fun.”

E. Wishing Someone Well

Two Couples Talking with Each Other at House

When you’re about to part ways with someone, it’s considered very polite to wish them well, especially if you know the person. Here are some common ways people in the United States do this.

“Have a nice day.”

This is probably the most common way to wish someone well before saying goodbye. It’s just a simple wish for the other person to have a good day from that point on.

Example:

You’re leaving the doctor’s office after a checkup.

Receptionist:
“Thank you for coming in. Have a nice day.”

You:
“Thank you, you too.”

“Have a great rest of your ___.”

This phrase is almost the same as the one above. Here, you can fill in the blank with any amount of time.

Example:

You see your boss at the grocery store, and you start talking with him/her. After a few minutes, you need to leave.

You:
“I gotta run. Have a great rest of your afternoon.”

Boss:
“Thank you. You too.”

“Take it easy.”

This one might sound strange, but it’s just a way to wish the other person a good day. More specifically, it means that you want them to enjoy themself and stay safe.

Example:

You see one of your friends while you’re on a walk around the neighborhood, talk with them, and then end the conversation.

You:
“Bye. Take it easy.”

Friend:
“Thanks, you too.”

“Have a good one.”

In this phrase, “one” refers to a day. It’s exactly the same as telling someone to “Have a good day,” but it’s a little bit more casual.

Example:

You’re telling a friend goodbye after a short conversation.

You:
“Bye. Have a good one.”

Friend:
“Thanks, you too.”

“Well…”

The word “well” is very versatile in English, and in this case, it acts as a transition word. People use it often as a way of leading into a goodbye. Sometimes, the other person will understand the hint and say goodbye themselves.

Example:

You ran into one of your former teachers at the park, and are ending a conversation with him/her.

You:
“Well…”

Teacher:
“I should probably be going. Nice talking with you.”

“Well, I’d best get to it.”

This is a good way of politely ending a conversation, especially if you have something you need to do and the other person won’t stop talking.

Example:

You and your neighbor have been talking for almost an hour, and you really need to finish the yard work before it gets dark.

You:
“Well, I’d best get to it.”

“I won’t keep you any longer.”

If you’re lucky, this is what your neighbor will say to you afterward. It’s basically a roundabout way of saying goodbye.

Example:

You:
“Well, I’d best get to it.”

Neighbor:
“Okay, I won’t keep you any longer. Bye.”

F. Asking Someone to Keep in Touch

Group of Women Hugging Goodbye After a Party

When you ask someone to “keep in touch,” you’re letting them know that you want to hear from, or spend time with, them again. Here are a few common parting phrases you can use to do this.

“Keep in touch.”

This is the most straightforward way to let someone know you want to talk again. 

Example:

You’re about to part ways with a new friend after spending the day together. 

You:
“Thanks for hanging out today. Keep in touch.”

Friend:
“Of course. Bye.”

“Call me later.” 

You can say this to someone if you want them to call you later.

Example:

You’re about to part ways with a friend, but want to talk with them more later that day.

You:
“I had fun today. Call me later!”

Friend:
“Okay, will do. Bye.”

“I’ll call you later.”

This is what you can say when the roles are reversed, or just if you want to call the person later.

Example:

You’re about to part ways with a friend, but want to talk with them more later that day.

Friend:
“I had fun today. Call me later!”

You:
“Okay, I’ll call you later. Bye.”

“When can I call you?”

Either you or your friend can ask this, depending on the situation.

Example:

Friend:
“I had fun today. Call me later!”

You:
“Okay, when can I call you?”

Friend:
“Hmm…anytime after seven.”

“When can I expect your call?”

Again, you can use this one when the roles are reversed.

Example:

You:
“I had fun today. Call me later!”

Friend:
“Okay, will do.”

You:
“When can I expect your call?”

Friend:
“Probably sometime after seven.”

“Talk to you later.”

This is very similar to “See you later,” but it actually has more to do with talking to the person.

Example:

You see your neighbor while you’re jogging, and stop to talk with them. After a couple minutes, you end the conversation.

You:
“Well, I’ll talk to you later.”

Neighbor:
“Okay. Goodbye.”

“Don’t be a stranger.”

When you tell someone “Don’t be a stranger,” it’s a way of letting them know you want to see and talk with them often.

Example:

You see your cousin for the first time in a couple of years, but need to end the conversation early.

You:
“Nice talking with you. Don’t be a stranger!”

Cousin:
“See you around.”

G. Letting Someone Know You Enjoyed Seeing Them

Two Friends Walking in the Snow Together

Imagine you’ve just spent the day with your best friend, whom you hadn’t seen in years. You’ll want to tell him or her how much you enjoyed seeing them and spending time together.

“It was nice seeing you / talking with you.”

This is a very common way to say goodbye in English, and you can use it in both formal and informal situations. 

Example:

You’re about to end a conversation with an old high school classmate you hadn’t seen in years.

You:
“It was nice talking with you.”

Classmate:
“Thanks, you too. Have a good day.”

“Always nice talking with you.”

This is almost the same as the phrase above, but this one is normally used with people you see from time to time.

Example:

You see your friend’s mom while doing errands, talk for a while, and then end the conversation.

You:
“Well, have a good day. Always nice talking with you.”

Friend’s Mom:
“Thank you. Be safe.”

“I’m so glad we had a chance to catch up.”

This is something you might say to a friend you haven’t seen in a long time, especially if you were able to learn new details about each other’s lives while talking.

Example:

You and your friend have been talking about her new job, your new house, and more, but you need to end the conversation soon.

You:
“I’m so glad we had a chance to catch up.”

Friend:
“Me too. See you again tomorrow?”

“We’ll have to do this more often.”

This is something you might say to a friend you really enjoy spending time with, but haven’t been seeing as much lately.

Example:

You and a friend just had lunch together, and are about to part ways.

You:
“Thanks for lunch. We’ll have to do this more often.”

Friend:
“I agree!”

“I hope we can do this again sometime soon.”

This one is very similar to the one above. 

Example:

You:
“Thanks for lunch. I hope we can do this again sometime soon.”

Friend:
“Me too!”

H. Goodbye Phrases for Texting or Talking on the Phone

Man Flipping through Channels while Talking on the Phone

Today, so much of our communication is done over the phone. Here are a few ways you can say goodbye to someone via text or while talking on the phone.

Texting 

PhraseSituationExample
BRB (Be Right Back)Use this when you need to stop texting for a little while, but plan on texting more in a few minutes.You:
“BRB. Dinner.”

Friend:
“Ok.”
G2g or Gtg (Got To Go)Use this when you need to stop texting for a longer while, and probably won’t be able to talk anytime soon.You:
“G2g. Very busy.”

Friend:
“Ok.”
TTYL (Talk To You Later)Use this when you need to stop texting, but want to text again sometime in the near future.You:
“G2g.”

Friend:
“TTYL.”
ByeUse this when ending a text conversation.You:
“Bye.”

Friend:
“Ok, bye.”


Talking on the Phone

PhraseSituationExample
“Thanks again. Bye.”You can use this to end a phone conversation where someone helped you or answered a question for you.You:
“Can you help me close my account?”

Person on Phone:
“Sure…”



You:
“Thanks again. Bye.”
“Well, I should be going now. Nice talking to you.”You can use this after talking with a friend or relative on the phone.You:
“Well, I should be going now. Nice talking to you.”

Relative:
“Thank you. Nice talking to you too.”
“I’ll see you/talk to you then. Bye.”You can use this phrase after making an appointment with someone over the phone.You:
“Okay, eight o’clock. I’ll see you then. Bye.”

Other Person:
“Okay. Bye.”


3. Goodbye in English Slang & Pop Culture

An Alligator against White Background

English has some creative ways of saying goodbye. Keep in mind that the phrases and words here are very informal, and should only be used with close friends or family. 

“Smell you later.”

This is a play on words associated with the phrase “See you later,” and it means the exact same thing. There’s a lot of debate about where the phrase actually came from, but this is the best source I could find

Example:

You’re saying goodbye to a close friend and plan on seeing them later.

You:
“Bye. Smell you later.”

Friend:
“Okay. Bye.”

“See you later, alligator.”

This phrase has nothing to do with an actual alligator. This fun English slang for goodbye is another play on words, because “gator” rhymes with “later.” In response, many people will reply with “In a while, crocodile.” 

This phrase is thought to have originated from a 1950s song titled See You Later Alligator.

Example:

You:
“See you later, alligator.”

Friend:
“In a while, crocodile.”

“TTFN” (“Ta-ta for now.”)

TTFN stands for “ta-ta for now.” This one is less common, originally used in the UK during WWII. Anyone who knows Disney should get it, though, as the Winnie the Pooh character Tigger says goodbye to his friends this way. (“TTFN! Ta-ta for now!”)

Example:

You’re saying goodbye to your Disney-loving friend.

You:
“TTFN!”

Friend:
“Ta-ta for now!”

“Cheerio.”

“Cheerio” is a word that was first used in England to say goodbye. Sometimes, people in the U.S. like saying this as well.

Example:

You:
“I should go now. Cheerio!”

Friend:
“See you later.”

“Adios.”

Adios is the Spanish word for “goodbye,” but it’s pretty common to use this in the United States when saying bye to friends. 

Example:

You:
“I should go now. Adios.”

Friend:
“Okay, bye.”

“Ciao.”

Ciao is the French word for “goodbye,” but like adios and cheerio, it’s sometimes used in the United States when saying bye to friends.

Example:

You:
“I should go now. Ciao.”

Friend:
“Okay, see you later.”

4. Final Thoughts

In this article, we showed you some English words to say goodbye, popular goodbye phrases for any situation, and more. We hope you feel more confident now to start excusing yourself from conversations or wishing your friend a good day. 

This is just the beginning of what EnglishClass101.com has to offer. To learn more words and phrases in English for day-to-day conversations, check out the following pages:

Remember: Keep practicing, and use English often. With enough practice and determination, you’re sure to get the hang of English conversations and eventually master the language! 

EnglishClass101 will be here with you every step of the way. Happy learning! 

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you say goodbye in your own language. We look forward to hearing from you.

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