Alternative ways to say ‘Goodbye’ in English

Panoramic view of New York City from Liberty Island

There are many interesting ways to say goodbye in English. Some are appropriate for professional settings, while others are reserved for casual interactions with friends and family.

The word ‘goodbye’ is not commonly used to say goodbye. Nowadays, it sounds very formal, old-fashioned and is typically only used if you’re never going to see the person again. It is better to use alternative ways to say ‘goodbye’.

Common ways to say goodbye in English

Phrases and expressionsContextExample
Bye!This is the standard goodbye. It’s short, simple, and you can say it to absolutely anyone. It’s appropriate for friends and family, as well as co-workers and business partners. It was great seeing you. I hope we can meet up again soon. Bye!
Bye-bye! This sweet and babyish expression is usually only used when speaking to children. Occasionally, adults will say ‘bye-bye’ to each other, but only if they know each other well and are trying to be flirtatious, cute or friendly.Bye-bye, Patricia! Have a great day at school!

Casual ways to say goodbye

Phrases and expressionsContextExample
See you later!
See you soon!
Talk to you later!
These are appropriate for anyone, from co-workers to friends. Often, we say one of these expressions before saying ‘bye’, because ‘bye’ can sound a little short on its own.I’m going out for lunch. See you later!
I’ve got to get going.
I must be going.
You can say this when you’re ready to leave a social gathering to let people know you’re ready to say goodbye. Depending on the situation, you might also briefly explain why you’re leaving. Well, I’ve got to get going.
I’m heading off!This is a good way to start to leave an event.I’m heading off, I have to be at home at 6 PM. See you tomorrow!
I’m going to make a move! [BrEng]To drive away.It’s late. I’m going to make a move!
I’m going to make tracks! [AmEng]To drive away. Right! I’m going to make tracks!
I’m off.This is a very casual expression to say goodbye.Anyway, I’m off. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow.
Take it easy!This expression is a more casual way of saying ‘have a nice day’. It is basically encouraging the person not to work too hard, and to take some time to relax.I’m heading out! Take it easy!

Ways to say goodbye in formal settings
Phrases and expressionsContextExample
Have a nice / good / great day! You can use this phrase to say goodbye to someone when you’re leaving work for the day.It was nice talking to you. Have a nice day!
Have a nice evening!You can use this phrase to say goodbye to someone in the evening or late afternoon, like when you’re leaving work for the day. I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Have a nice evening!
Have a great weekend!If you won’t see someone for the weekend, you can say this on Friday.It was nice meeting with you. Have a great weekend! See you on Monday.
Have a great (rest of your) week!If you won’t see someone for the rest of the week, you can say this.It was nice meeting with you. Have a great (rest of your) week!
I look forward to our next meeting. This formal expression is appropriate in business context if you want to continue working with someone.Thank you for your time today. I look forward to our next meeting.
Until ... (Monday, Tuesday, etc.)This expression is a little less common, but you might use it if you know the next time you’ll see the person. It was nice talking to you. Until Monday, Tuesday, etc.
Take care!It can be used in professional situations as well as more casual ones. If you say ‘take care’, it usually means you’re not going to see somebody for at least a week or more.Take care! See you next week!
It was nice meeting you. If this was the first time you met the person, you can use this phrase when saying goodbye.It was nice meeting you. I hope to continue working together in the future.
It was (so) nice to see you again.
It was nice seeing / meeting you.
You can use this expression to say goodbye to someone you already know or have met before.Bye, it was nice seeing you!
Good night!This formal way of saying goodbye can only be used late in the evening when people are heading home for the night. Keep in mind that ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’ and ‘good evening’ are greeting expressions, and only ‘good night ’can be used to say goodbye. ‘Good night’ is the standard spelling, whereas goodnight is an informal alternative.Good night, Ann! See you tomorrow in the morning.

Photo: Panoramic view of New York City from Liberty Island