Beyond the Basics: Different Ways to Say Goodbye in English

Ellison Claptonreviewed byNataliia Afonina / more about Editorial Process8 min
Created: Mar 24, 2023Last updated: Jan 23, 2024
Goodbye

Saying goodbye is not always pleasant, but it is important in any conversation. Choosing the right words is essential for conveying the appropriate sentiment in different situations. Today’s article provides you with many different ways to say goodbye in English, from traditional phrases to trendy slang expressions. And in contrast with our topic, we are greeting you here! 

Business Goodbyes in English

The business environment always requires you to use appropriate language. Whether you are speaking with your boss, colleagues, or clients, you need to choose polite words and expressions to sound professional when starting or ending a conversation. Here is the list of formal goodbyes you can use in different circumstances. 

  • Goodbye. Let’s start with the classics. This simple word is very polite and suitable for ending every business conversation, phone call, or meeting. 
  • Have a good day/evening. Another appropriate way to say goodbye in a business environment. 
  • It was a pleasure meeting you. You can use this phrase when you end a conversation with a person you haven’t seen in a while, or you’ve met for the first time. 

These phrases are suitable for cases when you need to say bye to someone for a short period, like at the end of a working day. But they are not appropriate if you need to bid farewell, for example, when leaving the company. In these cases, you have to use different ways to say goodbye. Here are some examples:

  • Thank you for the opportunity to work with you. 
  • It’s been a pleasure working with you all. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. 
  • I’ve learned so much during my time here. Thank you for this opportunity. 
  • I hope to see you all again someday. 

The difference between these goodbyes is pretty obvious. Hence, it is important to know the right time to use them. Keep in mind that it is not a good idea to thank your boss for the opportunity to work with them at the end of a regular Wednesday workday. 

Informal Ways to Say Goodbye in English

Now that you know how to say goodbye in the business environment, it is time to discuss more informal situations. Here are some popular phrases to use when saying goodbye to your friends. 

  • See you later/catch you later/see you. 

All these phrases have similar meanings and are aimed at saying goodbye to someone you will probably see soon. For example:

I need to go home and help mom. See you later!

I’m glad you agreed to go to that movie with me, but I need to stop by James’ work before that. Catch you later! 

  • I’ve got to get going. 

This is another way to say goodbye informally. It is still polite, so you can use this phrase at the end of any conversation. For example: 

It was nice talking to you, but I’ve got to get going. Bye! 

The dinner was great, but I’ve got to get going. Bye!

  • Take care. 

This phrase is a more casual way of saying “have a nice day.” For example: 

X: I hope to see you at dinner tomorrow. 

Y: I’ll do my best to get there! But now, I should go to class. Take care. 

It is a popular catchphrase from the famous TV show M*A*S*H that you can use as an informal and humorous way to say goodbye to your friends. For example: 

I’m terribly sorry, but I need to go. Goodbye, farewell, and amen. 

I will see you tomorrow, and for now – goodbye, farewell, and amen. 

  • I’m outta here. 

This phrase is a good way to say goodbye when leaving a party or any other informal meeting. For example:

The drinks are great, but I need to finish my project by tomorrow, so I’m outta here. 

I’m outta here. Tell Jane that I will call her later.

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Slang Ways of Saying Goodbye

Slang phrases are one of the most popular and cool ways to say goodbye. They are even more casual than informal farewells, so you need to be very careful when choosing the person to say them to. Usually, such expressions are suitable for ending a conversation with close friends. Take a look at the most trendy and fun ways to say goodbye in slang. 

  • Later, gator! 

According to Urban Dictionary, this phrase is a short version of the expression “see you later, alligator” and is a humorous way to say goodbye. The appropriate answer is also humorous, and it sounds like “after a while, crocodile.” For example:

X: I’m outta here, Jake. Later, gator!

Y: After a while, crocodile.

  • Catch ya on the flip side. 

It is a very informal way of saying “see you later.” A flip side means the other side of today – tomorrow. For example:

Q: One last question before you go – are you going to Janice’s party?

A: I definitely am! Catch ya on the flip side. 

  • Love, peace, and chicken grease. 

You might be surprised, but this phrase means “see you later and have a nice day.” Obviously, it is not a formal goodbye, but it is a playful way to end the meeting with your friends. For example:

I’m outta here. Love, peace, and chicken grease. 

See ya later, bud! Love, peace, and chicken grease!

  • Hasta la vista, baby. 

Fans of old-school action movies know this farewell. It is a catchphrase said by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2. And even though the movie was presented more than thirty years ago, some people still use it as a slang way to say goodbye. For example:

The work is done, and I’m going home. Hasta la vista, baby!

I am so happy to finally say it: Hasta la vista, baby!

  • Cheerio. 

This phrase is totally British. And it is also a popular slang way to say goodbye. For example:

Q: See you tomorrow, Mike! 
A: Cheerio!

  • Toodle-oo. 

Another slang way of saying goodbye. This phrase is a form of the French expression “a tout a l’heure” that has the same meaning. For example:

X: Thank you for the dinner. See you tomorrow!

Y: It was my pleasure. Toodle-oo! 

Other Ways to Say Goodbye

In some situations, goodbye doesn’t even require saying any words. Depending on the case, you can use gestures, facial expressions, and many other methods to bid farewell. So, how to say goodbye without saying goodbye? Here are some examples. 

  • Goodbye note. If you need to leave but can’t say goodbye to someone in person, you can leave a simple and friendly note. Just make sure to keep it short – there is no need to write a whole letter. 
  • Waving goodbye. Sometimes, no words are needed. You can just wave your hand, and that will be a good way to say goodbye to someone. 
  • Peace sign. Another great way to say goodbye without using actual words is by showing a peace sign – just like saying peace out.
  • Hugs. We love this one! Instead of saying goodbye, you can just hug your interlocutor at the end of your conversation. But you need to make sure that this gesture is appropriate and that the other person is also comfortable with it. 
  • Hat tipping. It is a very old-fashioned gesture, but it is still very fun. You can say goodbye just by tipping your hat. If you don’t have one but still want to do it, you can always tip your imaginary hat – in some cases, this option is even funnier. 

These are some common ways of saying goodbye without actually saying it. You can use them in different circumstances – just make sure that such behavior is appropriate. Keep in mind that most of these gestures are equal to slang expressions and are mostly suitable for informal conversations.

Learning Popular Goodbye Phrases with Promova

Saying goodbye in English is simple, and it usually doesn’t require a lot of fluency. Yet, if you want to sound more like a native speaker, you need to learn a lot of grammar, words, and phrases to replace regular “bye-bye.” In this case, you might need some help from English professionals. And if you don’t know where to find them, we invite you to Promova – a modern language-learning multitool. 

Promova provides its students with various options that suit different tastes and needs. The most popular feature is personal and group lessons with a team of professional tutors. All you need to join them is pass a quick test to determine your level, provide some information about yourself, and enjoy your studying! And if you are still hesitating, you can always book a free trial lesson and see whether it suits you. 

For those who prefer studying alone, Promova offers a convenient mobile application. You can install it on any iOS or Android device and access hundreds of exciting topics and useful lessons. And if you just need more practice, it’s always possible to enjoy our free Conversation Club, where people from all over the world discuss interesting subjects and enhance their speaking skills. As you can see, there is a lot to choose from. So don’t waste your time, and find the ideal option for you!

Conclusion

Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend… Sorry, this song has been in our heads during the whole process of writing this article. To sum up, we can say that there are numerous ways of saying goodbye in English. 

Some are great for ending a friendly conversation, others – for bidding farewells in a business environment. The main thing is to choose the most appropriate option that will suit a particular situation. And we hope this article will help you expand your vocabulary and find new and fresh ways of saying goodbye. We will see you at the next one. Toodle-oo!

FAQ

Is there a difference between formal and informal goodbyes?

Yes, there is a slight difference between formal and informal goodbyes. The first type is usually more polite and official. Such goodbyes are suitable for the work environment. Informal goodbyes, on the other hand, are more fun and casual. They often include a lot of slang, jokes, and colloquial expressions. 

Are there any rules for saying goodbye in English?

Yes, there are some rules. The first one is suitable for saying goodbye in any language – you must be polite and respectful. Also, don’t use the expressions if you are not sure of their meanings. Finally, choose the appropriate phrases and know the difference between formal and casual goodbyes. 


 

What are some typically British expressions for saying goodbye?

British people like slang, and they also have many local expressions for saying goodbye. Some of the most common phrases are ta-ta, cheerio, cheers, be seeing you, and toodle pip. The next time you hear one of these sayings, you can be sure that this person is somehow related to the UK.

Can using different words to say goodbye convey different emotions or meanings?

Yes, it can! Depending on the word choice, you set the tone of your goodbye. For example, some casual or slang phrases convey positive feelings. Farewelling someone, on the other hand, often makes people sad because it is usually a long-term goodbye. 

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