How to say Goodbye to People in English
It is easy to say goodbye to certain people; while at other times it is not so easy to say! But whatever way you feel about saying goodbye, it is important that you know how to say it!
To begin with; “Goodbye” or “Bye!” seems like the most obvious way to part ways with someone, but there are many other phrases we can use before we go our separate ways. Different situations will determine which phrases to use to say goodbye, as well as the person you are saying it to.
So, we will take a look at different ways to say goodbye to people in English, focusing on both formal and informal situations. Here we go!
1 - Formal Ways to say Goodbye in English
A formal situation is a situation where people need to use very polite, professional and friendly language. Therefore, they need to use language that shows respect and sincerity. It is important to note that a formal situation can occur between various kinds of people.
So, let’s learn about who we need to use formal language with when we are saying goodbye to them;
- Your Boss, manager or associates who are higher up than you.
- Clients or customers that you are dealing with, particularly new clients or customers.
- An interviewer for a job that you have applied for.
- Senior people in other workplaces that you visit such as the bank, your accountant, your lawyer etc.
- Elderly people that are not your immediate family.
- People you have never met before.
So, now that we know who we need to say goodbye to formally, let’s see how we can say goodbye to them. For instance;
- Bye **This can be used both formally and informally**
- Take care
- I look forward to seeing you again!
- It was nice to see you!
- It was great to talk to you! / It was great talking with you!
- Have a good day/afternoon/evening!
*Similarly, If you are dealing with a business partner or a colleague at work; you could say;
- It was nice seeing you! I’ll see you again ……. (next Tuesday/next week/next month)
- Until …. (next week / Monday / next quarter)
Also worth noting is; if it was the first time you have met the other person, you could say;
- It was nice to meet you; hope to see you again!
2 - Informal Ways to say Goodbye in English
Continuing on to more informal situations; Informal situations are a little more laid back and relaxed than formal situations. Therefore, they allow us to say goodbye to people in a less rigid way. We may say goodbye to our co-workers or teammates informally.
Let’s have a look at who we can say goodbye to in an informal manner;
- Co-workers / Team-mates
- Customers or clients that you know well and have a close relationship with.
- If you are a parent; the other parents at your child’s school.
- People that you encounter regularly; perhaps at the local store or someone who works at the café you visit.
In short, these are the people that we can say goodbye to informally, so now let’s take a look at the different ways we can say goodbye to them;
- Bye! (Can be use both formally and informally)
- See you! / See you later!
- Talk to you later!
- Take it easy! (This suggests that you need to leave now, and you are telling the person to take care of themselves)
- I’m off! / I need to get going! (I am going now)
- Have a good one! (Have a good/nice day)
- Good seeing you (This is usually used when you meet someone you know that you haven’t seen for a long time)
3 - Very Informal (Slang)
Slang is a term used for the very informal language that we use in everyday life. So, it is used mainly by people who know each other very well. It is the most relaxed kind of language to use as we don’t need to worry about what the other person will think, and because it is mostly used with very close people.
So, let’s see who it is appropriate to use slang with in order to say goodbye;
- Very close friends.
- Very close workmates / teammates.
- Old friends that we have known from years before.
- People we meet in social settings such as a bar, nightclub, party or informal gathering. **Although you may have met someone for the first time, if it is at a social event then it is OK to use informal language**.
Now that we know who we can say goodbye to using slang, let’s find out what expressions can be used to say goodbye! For instance;
- See ya! / See ya later! (‘Ya’ is a shortened term for ‘you’)
- Later! (as in, ‘See you later’)
- Catch you later! (I will catch up with you later)
- Chat you later! (I will talk to you later)
- I’ve got to hit the road! (I need to leave now)
- I’m out of here! (I am going now)
How many of these ways to say goodbye to People in English did you already know?
So, there you have it; the many ways to say goodbye to your boss, your neighbour or your best friend!
They are all very different right? That’s because we may need to leave a certain impression with whichever person we are talking to.
It would be very strange to say goodbye to your best friend of twenty years by saying; “Goodbye! I look forward to seeing you again!”. Your friend may give you a funny look.
Similarly, you certainly do not want to end your working week by walking out the door on a Friday afternoon, shouting to your boss; “See ya! I’m out of here”! Your boss may have a word with you on Monday morning!
So, are there any other expressions that you know for saying goodbye? Is it formal or informal? How would you use it, and who would you say it to?
Practice using these expressions, as this is how using them will become second-nature to you.
More Useful Tips To Help You Improve Your English
Good morning! How are you? Good to see you! Here we have more great examples of greeting people in English that you should know!
Do you know many English Proverbs such as “practice makes perfect”? Check out our 20 Common English Proverbs!
Are you using old or boring methods to study English? Here are our Top 15 Tips to you learn English effectively!