How to Sign Off Without Sounding Like a Robot: 10+ Ways to Say Goodbye in German

Bodhi Ramos9 min
Created: Jul 1, 2024Last updated: Jul 3, 2024
Goodbye in German

Most conversations in any language have a beginning and an end. So it is vital to know how to start them and how to bid your farewells. Today, we’ll tell you all you need to know about ways of saying goodbye in German. Since there are a lot of expressions, it might be quite challenging to understand when it’s appropriate to use one or another. But there is no need to worry, as we’re always here to help! So please, make yourself comfortable, and let’s dive right in.

How to Say Goodbye in German: Formal Phrases

Germans are known for being quite strict and polite, so if you’re planning on visiting this country or communicating with locals in any other way, it is important to be prepared. So, for starters, let’s explore some of the most widespread polite farewells to help you learn how to end any conversation with grace.

  • Auf Wiedersehen – [aʊf ˈviːdɐˌzeːən] – Goodbye.

This one is the classic, formal German goodbye. Literally, it means “until we see each other again,” making it perfect for situations where you expect to meet the person in the future. However, it is quite versatile, so you can easily use it even when talking to strangers or people you’ll probably never meet again.

  • Einen schönen Abend noch – [ˈaɪnən ˈʃøːnən ˈaːbənt nɔχ] – Have a nice evening.

German is one of those languages where there are some different farewells depending on the time of day. This is one of those expressions used mostly when you’re saying goodbye to someone in the evening.

  • Einen schönen Tag noch – [ˈaɪnən ˈʃøːnən taːk nɔχ] – Have a nice day.

And here’s the one similar to the previous phrase but used during the day. It’s a polite way to say goodbye while wishing the person to enjoy the rest of their day.

  • Bis morgen – [bɪs ˈmɔʁɡən] – Until tomorrow.

If you know for sure you’ll meet your interlocutor the following day, this is your perfect German word for goodbye. It is quite polite, so you can use it in more official and formal settings.

  • Gute Nacht – [ˈɡuːtə naχt] – Good night.

And here’s another warm and nice time-related way to say goodbye before someone goes to bed or when parting ways late in the evening. It’s a classic farewell wish for a peaceful night.

  • Bis zum nächsten Mal – [bɪs tsʊm ˈnɛkstən ˈmal] – Until next time.

This one works well for situations when you’re not sure when you’ll see the person again but hope it will be soon. Although it is less confident than Bis morgen, you can still use it to convey that you really want to meet your interlocutor again.

  • Auf Wiederhören – [aʊf ˈviːdɐˌhøːʁən] – Goodbye.

Looks familiar, right? Well, there is no wonder. It is quite similar to the first expression we’ve explained, but its literal translation is a bit different. In this case, you’re saying, “until we hear from each other again.” As a result, you can see that this phrase works well for ending conversations over the phone.

Bye Bye in German: Informal and Slang Expressions

But, of course, you can’t always use only formal goodbyes. In some cases, especially when talking to your close friends, it might even be considered inappropriate! But don’t worry, we’ve got you. Here are some of our favorite informal and slang expressions to say goodbye in German.

  • Tschüss – [tʃʏs] – Bye.

The first one is probably the most common way to say bye in German. It is quite casual, but not overly. As a result, you can use it for all sorts of conversations – with friends, colleagues, people you’ve just met, and yada, yada, yada.

  • Tschüssikowski! – [tʃʏsiˈkɔfski] – Bye-bye.

And here’s the more playful and relaxed variation of the precious phrase. It adds a bit of whimsy and affection to your farewell, showing a lighthearted attitude. Yet, since it’s a bit more casual, it’s better to save it for friendly convos with your pals and peers.

  • Tüdelü – [ˈtyːdəlyː] – Toodaloo.

This is one of our favorite ones, a cute and informal way to say goodbye, often used playfully or affectionately among friends or with children. But, again, always be aware of the formality level of your conversation before actually using it.

  • Mach’s gut – [maxs ɡuːt] – Take care.

This is a quite popular slang way to say goodbye in German. Since it’s an informal expression, it mostly works for ending casual conversations. However, depending on the context, there might be some exceptions to using it.

  • Hau ab – [haʊ ap] – Get lost.

If you and your friends are used to playful banters, this expression is a great way to say goodbye afterward. It is quite teasing, but with the right approach, it won’t sound like you’re trying to offend your interlocutor. But remember that context and tone are key!

  • Ciao – [ˈtʃaʊ] – Bye.

Although it’s an Italian farewell, it is quite popular in many other languages, including German and English. So, when you are in your polyglot era, this is the perfect option to bid farewell in German and Italian at the same time.

  • Ich muss los – [ɪç mʊs loːs] – I have to go.

When beating around the bush is not about you, we have a great expression. It is quite straightforward, used to indicate that you should leave right now in a casual and friendly manner.

  • Man sieht sich – [man zeːt zɪç] – See you around.

This is another one of those expressions that imply that you expect to see the person again in the future. It’s a casual and friendly way to say goodbye.

  • Hau rein – [haʊ ʁaɪn] – Clear out.

The last expression on our list is another playful option for those situations when you want to tease your friend a little bit. It is friendly and casual, but don’t forget to say it with a smile and a lighthearted attitude!

7

Cute and Funny Rhyming Ways to Say Goodbye in German

In English, we have plenty of rhyming expressions, like “What’s up, buttercup,” or “See ya later, alligator.” And Germans have many of them, too! Here are some of our favorite expressions to say goodbye in a playful way.

  • Bye-bye, Kartoffelbrei – [baɪ baɪ ˈkaʁtɔfəlbraɪ] – Bye-bye, mashed potatoes.
  • Mach’s gut, Zuckerhut – [maxs ɡuːt ˈtsʊkɐˌhuːt] – Take care, sugar loaf.
  • Ciao, Meow – [ˈtʃaʊ, miaʊ] – Bye, meow.
  • Tschüssi mit Küssi – [tʃʏsi mɪt ˈkʏsi] – Bye with a kiss.
  • Tschüssli, Müsli – [ˈtʃʏsli ˈmyːsli] – Bye, granola.
  • Ciao, Kakao – [ˈtʃaʊ kaˈkaʊ] – Bye, Cocoa.
  • Bis später, Peter – [bɪs ˈʃpɛːtɐ ˈpeːtɐ] – See you later, Peter.

As you can see, most of them don’t make any sense when translated into English. But when you read them aloud in German, you’ll hear how perfectly the words rhyme, making these farewells quite cute and hilarious. Amazing choice when you feel especially playful!

How to Say Good Bye in German: Written Communication

If you’re planning on staying in a German-speaking country or just have an online friend from the area, you might need to know how to bid your farewells in text format, both in messages and emails. And sure thing, we’ve got you covered! Here are some widespread phrases that might come in handy.

  • bb/bd/bs/bm (Bis Bald/Bis dann/Bis später/Bis morgen) – See you later/see you soon.

If you’re not much of a texter and prefer offline communication, but you need to bid farewells in a message, these slang abbreviations are for you. All of them mean the same thing, so you just choose the one that you like the most. 

  • Mit freundlichen Grüßen – With friendly regards.

This phrase is a normal way to end an email. It works especially well when you communicate with strangers or people you’re not too close to. Let’s say it’s one of the safest choices.

  • Ich freue mich auf Ihre Antwort – I look forward to your response.

And here’s another safe choice for your formal emails. It is almost a universal way to end a letter, especially if you’re talking to a stranger, but you know that your correspondence will continue.

  • xoxo – Hugs and kisses.

Originally, it was an English way to sign off, but it quickly spread to other languages, including German. It is a cute and affectionate way to say goodbye in casual or romantic messages.

  • Viele Grüße – Many greetings.

This is another great way to say goodbye in an email. And the best thing about it is that it is quite polite, but not too much, making it a great option for both formal and informal correspondence.

  • Herzliche Grüße – Warm regards.

This phrase adds a bit more warmth and affection to your sign-off. It’s great for close friends, family, or colleagues with whom you have a friendly relationship.

  • Liebe Grüße – Kind regards/Best wishes.

The last expression on our list is another affectionate way to say goodbye in written communication. Whether talking to a friend or a colleague via email, this phrase will be a great addition to your letter.

Find Out How to Say Bye in German with Promova

Learning German might be challenging, especially if you’re just starting. However, there is no need to be scared! We’re always here to help. With a convenient Promova application, you can access all the information you need to start or continue learning this and many other languages. The Promova app is your one-stop solution for reaching your desired studying goals. But why exactly should you give it a try?

For starters, it is convenient. You can easily install the application on your iOS or Android device and access all the materials for practicing reading, speaking, listening, and writing. In addition to German, you can study Korean, French, Spanish, English, ASL, and many other tongues. And the best part is that you can do it at the same time! Just choose the language you want to master, provide some data about your proficiency and time you’re willing to spend, and enjoy!

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Conclusion

Summing up, we can say that mastering different ways to say goodbye in a foreign language is important for anyone learning it. Such simple phrases might help you feel more prepared and confident during different conversations and small talks. We hope that today’s article will help you memorize some of the most common farewells in German. And, as usual, we’ll see you in the next one!

FAQ

How to say goodbye in German formal and informal ways?

Well, the best way is to read the room and understand the context, the type of relationship you have with your interlocutor, what language (formal or informal) they use, etc. In general, use formal farewells in professional settings, with people you don’t know well, or in situations requiring respect and politeness. In most other cases, informal phrases will be perfectly suited.

Are there any regional variations of German for goodbye phrases?

Absolutely! German is spoken in many areas and countries, creating a lot of dialects and regional slang. For example, in addition to commonly used expressions we’ve covered, you can hear words like Adjüüs (Hamburg), Pfiad di-eich (Bavaria and Austria), and Sali (Switzerland).

What are some tips to master German farewells?

Oh, we can give you plenty! For starters, always keep in mind that practice makes perfect, and never be afraid of making mistakes. Also, try to use both formal and informal farewells in different contexts to get comfortable with them. Another great tip is that when interacting with native speakers, listen to how they say goodbye and mimic their usage and pronunciation.

How many farewell expressions should I know to navigate the conversations easily?

Depends on your goals and personal preferences. If you’re just starting to learn German, it will be enough to memorize a couple of basic formal and informal phrases – it will be enough for some time. Eventually, you can add more words to your vocabulary until you’re able to use them naturally in any context.

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