How To Say Goodbye In The Best Way—Formal And Informal Goodbye’s

From ‘bye-bye’ to ‘see you next week’ to ‘catch ya later,’ the English language is full of many different ways how to say goodbye. 

This article will look at the most common ways to say goodbye to someone. We’ll help you formally or informally say goodbye to a loved one, a family member, a stranger, and more.

How to say goodbye

The word ‘goodbye’ is rarely used to say goodbye. 

The term is usually reserved for more solemn goodbyes, such as asserting that goodbye is necessary or saying goodbye to someone you love. 

More often than not, we say goodbye with variations of the term or slang terms. 

Below we’ve included common ways to say goodbye in English, including example sentences to help you understand the context.

1. Bye

Most goodbyes are said with a simple ‘Bye.’ 

It is appropriate to say to anyone because it is brief and straightforward. You can use it with friends, relatives, colleagues, and people of all ages. 

This is also the most neutral and versatile way of saying goodbye because it’s always appropriate.

 It’s often preceded by the word ‘ok’ to make it more casual, but it can also work independently.

‘Ok, bye!’

2. Bye bye

The double-bye (Bye-bye!), though very similar to the previous ‘bye,’ is quite different from its single-word counterpart. 

We usually use bye-bye when saying goodbye to children (usually accompanied by a big smile and a wave).

‘Bye-bye’ is also often silly or cute when talking to a close, familiar person. It’s best to refrain from using bye-bye in a more formal setting, such as leaving a work meeting or at the end of an interview.

Bye bye! See you soon! Have a good day!

3. See you later!

See you later is a very casual way of saying goodbye. 

Goodbye has connotations of not seeing the person again for a long time, but ‘see you later’ acknowledges that it won’t be long until you two see each other again. 

You can say this goodbye to one person or a group (‘see you later, guys). 

The ‘you’ is typically shortened to ‘ya,’ as in ‘see ya later.’

Other forms of this goodbye include:

  • Catch you later (catch ya later)
  • Talk to you later

‘It was nice chatting with you, but I’ve gotta go now. See ya later!’


‘Ok, it’s time for me to go. Catch ya later!’


‘I’m going to go. Good chat, talk to you later!’

4. See ya!

A shorter version of see ya later is the simple ‘see ya.’ 

It means the same as ‘see you later’ and is usually spoken between close friends and acquaintances.

‘See ya!’

5. Got to go (gotta go)

When you want to leave a meeting or social event, you can use ‘Got to go’ or ‘gotta go’ to announce that you’re leaving. 

Got to go is a pre-bye – it’s something we say before saying another parting term, such see you later or bye. 

For a more formal way to say this term, you can say:

‘I’ve got to get going.’

You can also add an explanation as to why you’re leaving if you like:

‘I’ve got to get going. I have an early appointment.’

You don’t have to explain why you’re leaving. You can simply say, ‘I’ve got to get going. Bye!’ and keep your business to yourself if you wish.

6. I’m off

I’m off is another common way to let people know you’re leaving.

It’s usually spoken as you pack your things, such as putting on your jacket or standing up from your chair. 

It’s also a pre-bye – you’re letting people know you’re leaving so that final interaction can be had before you learn, gifts can be exchanged, or the next meeting can be arranged. 

‘I’m off. It was great chatting with you. See you again soon!’

how to say goodbye

7. Take care

Take care is a caring and versatile way to say goodbye. 

You can say it to friends, relatives, colleagues, and anyone you want to give your best wishes. It’s a genuine, friendly, and warm way to let the other person know that you want the best for them. 

‘I’ve got to go. See you soon, and take care!’

Take care can also signify that you won’t see this person again for some time but that you respectfully wish them well.

‘Have a good life. Take care.’

8. Have a good evening/Have a good night

We can say ‘have a good evening’ or ‘have a good night’ when we’re leaving, but we’ll probably see the person or people again. 

You can use this form of goodbye to leaving a work meeting, a casual lunch, or a friend date. It’s polite and semi-formal and can be used in most relationship dynamics.

‘Ok, it’s time for me to go. I’m glad we finally got to have dinner together. Have a good evening, and I’ll see you soon!’

9. Take it easy

Taking it easy is a common way to say goodbye that leaves the conversation on a positive note. 

When you say take it easy, you tell your conversation partner not to stress and not let their worries get the better. 

Take it easy is a very informal way of saying goodbye and is best kept for friends and family and not used in a professional setting. 

‘See you again soon. Take it easy!’

10. Bye for now

Bye for now is the same as bye but said, intending to see the person again soon. 

Bye for now means that this particular conversation is over, but we’ll continue where we left off last time.

‘Ok, bye for now, talk to you soon.’

11. Until next time!

‘Until next time!’ or ‘Until Friday!’ (or any day of the week) is less common than the rest but is still relatively common in English. 

We use this form of goodbye to close friends, new friends, or acquaintances when we know that we will see them again at some point in the future. 

‘Until next time’ is used when we don’t know exactly when we’ll see the person, and until [day of the week] is used when we have that information.

‘Until next time!’

Fun ways to say goodbye

Goodbyes don’t have to be serious. There are many fun ways to say goodbye and keep things light and casual.

1. See ya later, alligator!

A fun rhyming way to say goodbye; we often use this form of goodbye for kids, but adults can say it to each other too.

2. In a while, crocodile!

The perfect response to see ya later alligator!

These rhyming goodbyes have many fun alternatives, such as:

Gotta go, Buffalo! 

See you soon, Raccoon!

Take Care, Polar Bear!

In a shake, Rattle Snake! 

Toodle-loo, Kangaroo!

Bye-bye, Butterfly!

In an hour, sunflower!

3. Smell ya later!

Smell ya later is best reserved for close friends only. 

This jokingly rude goodbye helps when a more sentimental one may bring up some tears because you’re so close to this person that you don’t want to say goodbye. 

These fun ways to say goodbye save on the sentiment and keep things light and casual.

4. See you on the flip side!

A very casual way to say goodbye, this form of goodbye is simply another way to say see you next time.

5. Cheerio

Cheerio is a cheerful, silly, and fun way to say goodbye. It works best with a high energy and cheerful attitude, accompanied by a wave as you head on your merry way.

6. Adios!

Ok, this one isn’t even English. It’s Spanish, but it’s commonly used even among English speakers as a simple way to say goodbye to friends.

7. Hakuna Matata

Singing the song already? 

Hakuna Matata, the famous ‘no worries’ song from the Lion King, is a fun and silly way to say goodbye. 

Of course, this one is best kept for close friends and not used in professional settings!

How to say goodbye in different languages

Always wanted to speak another language? 

Knowing how to say hello and goodbye is a great start. 

Even if you don’t learn a particular language but know how to use these basic greetings, you’ll make a good impression on native speakers of that language if you’re ever talking to them!

  • Spanish = Adios (ah-DYOS)
  • Italian = Arrivederci (ah-ree-veh-DEHR-chee)
  • French = Au Revoir (oh-WAHR)
  • Portuguese = Adeus (ah-deh-ooSH)
  • German = Auf Wiedersehen (owf-VEE-der-zayn)
  • Japanese = Sayōnara (sir-you-are-ah)
  • Russian = Do svidaniya (do-sve-DAN-ya)
  • Korean = Annyeong (AN-nyeong)
  • Irish = Slán (slawn)
  • Dutch = Tot ziens (tut-ZEENS)
  • Czech = Ahoj (aa-hoi)
  • Danish = Farvel (far-vel)
  • Farsi = Khoda hafez (خداحافظ) (koo-dah ha-fiz)
  • Filipino = Paalam (pah-lahm)
  • Finnish = Näkemiin (nah-keh-meen)

how to say goodbye

How to say goodbye in an email

Knowing the appropriate ways to say goodbye in an email is essential, especially if the email is to your boss or work-related

So, when writing your next email, address the person with a ‘Dear’ or Hi [name]’ and sign off with the following:

1. Regards

‘Regards’ followed by your name on a new line is one of the most common ways to sign off. It’s formal but can also be infused informally. 

It’s also neutral and polite. Variations include:

  • Best regards
  • Kind regards
  • Warm regards

2. Thanks

Express gratitude for a service or favor with a simple ‘Thanks.’ 

Variations include:

  • Thank you
  • Thanks so much
  • Much appreciated

3. Sincerely (Yours sincerely)

This is another formal and common way to sign off an email. 

It has a professional tone, so it’s best used for job applications and work emails. 

People often use ‘sincerely’ or ‘yours sincerely’ when they don’t know the recipient personally.

4. Best wishes

Sign off and wish the best for your recipient with the semi-formal ‘best wishes.’ Variations include:

  • Best
  • All the best

Saying goodbye to a loved one

It’s not always good to say goodbye to a loved one, especially if we know we won’t see them again for a long time. These goodbyes require much more presence and energy than the quick and simple forms of goodbye we explored above.

Your presence is vital when saying goodbye to a loved one. Give your full attention to the moment you share, and share what’s in your heart.

Hugs are always good when we say goodbye to someone we love. 

Physical contact helps us honor the goodbye. However, sometimes a hug or other physical contact can make the goodbye even harder.

The most important thing to remember when you have to say goodbye to a loved one is to be in the moment, make eye contact, and breathe. 

Goodbyes are very special moments, and you don’t want to regret not being fully present.


There are so many different ways to say goodbye. 

Some are funny, some are formal, and some are serious.

Knowing which type of goodbye may seem confusing but trust yourself to use the right type of goodbye in whatever circumstances you find yourself in. 

If you make a mistake, someone will hopefully be kind enough to correct you! 

Finally, you’re allowed to say goodbye in your own way – you don’t always have to say it the same way as everyone else!

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