"Hello" in French - "Goodbye" in French

How many ways can you say "hello" in French? After this free French lesson for beginners you’ll know more than just a simple bonjour!


Listen to the audio and follow the French pronunciation. And don't be shy - go ahead and practice each French word aloud! Once you’re feeling confident with French greetings we’ll cover several ways to say "goodbye" in French as well.

Greetings like “good morning” or “good afternoon” are incredibly important in French. As the French culture is more formal, going through the ritual of greeting another person is an important way of showing respect. The French shake hands while saying “Bonjour” or “Bonsoir” depending on the time of the day. You are expected to greet every person individually, even if they’re in a group. That means that if you’re walking along the road and pass a group of five people, you’ll have to say, “Bonjour,” and shake hands five times!


Once you know them, you may kiss them on the cheeks. It is usually on both cheeks but in some regions it is up to four times so keep an eye of how many times people kiss on the cheeks.

How to pronounce Bonjour

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Bonjour, bonjour, bonjour, bonjour, bonjour…

There are two ways of addressing someone in French: a polite or formal way using “Vous” and a more casual way using “Tu”. The same concept applies to greetings. Listen to the audio below to hear formal French greetings…

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Bonjour !
Good morning!
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Bonjour !
Good afternoon!
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Bonsoir !
Good evening!
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Bonne nuit !
Good night!

As you can see there is no distinction in French between 'good morning' and 'good afternoon', only once it’s dark you will have to greet saying 'good evening'. Nowadays it is quite common to use English greetings, like “hi” and “bye bye”, but these are considered to be casual. Listen to the audio below to hear some informal French greetings…

Saying hello in French

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Allô
Hello (on the telephone)
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Salut
Hi
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Ça va ?
How are you?

Saying good-bye in French

And here is a formal way of saying good-bye.

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Au revoir
Good-bye

Let’s listen to some casual farewells…

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Au revoir
Bye
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A bientôt
See you soon
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A plus tard
See you later
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Passez une bonne journée
Have a good day (formal)
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Bonne journée
Have a good day
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On se voit plus tard  !
See you then
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Prenez soin de vous
Take care (formal)
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Prends soin de toi
Take Care

That’s it for today’s lesson. Using different greetings will make you sound more fluent, so try to remember as many as you can.

À bientôt!
Marie-Claire Rivière and the Rocket French Team

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Salut, my name’s Marie-Claire Rivière, I’m the host of Rocket French.

I'm from Versailles, near Paris, which means my native language is French. Like you, I know how hard it can be to learn a new language, because I remember trying to learn English.

Together with my English speaking colleague, Paul, I want to help you to speak and understand French, and cut your learning time in half, with my Rocket French online course.

I've travelled all over the world, and I’ve found that speaking the language is a great way to meet new people and discover new things. I really want to make your French learning a rewarding and fun experience!

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