"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

Testing!

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Note that the tests below are listed from easiest to hardest. Also, when a test is successfully rated the rating icon will at the top right of this page will show that rating.

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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My dilemma revealed itself in early January, as the date was set for early that following July, when our campus would welcome 300 conventioneers, among whom would be about 20 from Quebec, Canada, alumni of our course work who speak primarily in French. Over a number of years, these Quebecois had taken their courses in French from our institute in satellite classes away from the main campus here in Texas.

But this year we were honoring the pioneers among them who had kept French-speaking student numbers strong and growing, over the years.

I had studied in a one-year course for foreign students years ago. With no previous studies in French, I went in 1959-60 as a free student, with no affiliations, to the University of Bordeaux, Faculty of Letters, and had success from this immersion style of learning French. But, my level of fluency had disappeared over the years. Knowing that I could revive some of my comfort in speaking French, I went online and subscribed to Rocket French that arrived faithfully each week from January 20th through June 2nd of this year and I had hopes that that would give me ample time to get comfortable with that beautiful language once again.

My initial plan was to awaken one-hour early each morning to study the given lessons; I started off strong, but found that I only worked with the lessons an average of two times a week. Yet, that proved to be enough to get my tongue back into the groove of speaking French. Surprisingly, the Rocket French lessons validated that I remembered most of the vocabulary. The biggest help to me was in listening and speaking, which became easier as my confidence returned with each passing week.

By the end of the lessons, I was ready for the convention! To my amazement, I worked overtime translating for our staff at the times they made various presentations to our very special French-Canadian guests; during informal times outside of structured hours when I could visit and chat with all of these delightful folks; and during social times when I found every excuse to be with them.

At the end of our six convention days together, three of the group stayed on for an intensive six health & wellness retreat, where three to four times each day I would join them for the table discussion segments built in to their learning time. I actually lost my voice due to speaking so much and so often, but the end result was that the total experience for the French-speakers and certainly for me, was enhanced by the language we shared.

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I've archived all of the lessons to review at any time, certainly before heading to Quebec at the invitation of these enthusiastic students of all ages! And, if I plan things right, I may just take a return trip to France one day, with a special visit to relive my own early student days in Bordeaux. Thanks to Rocket French, I can do it all!


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