Greetings in other languages are always tricky. Castle overlap mostly, however sometimes catch you out. This is why you need to know the various ways in which you deserve to wish who goodnight in French — it relies on the context!

In English, you speak “goodnight” to recognize someone is going come bed. That’s practically the only time you speak it. Girlfriend would seldom say “goodnight” to someone if you’re just bidding lock farewell for the evening, no matter how late it is. (It wouldn’t be wrong to carry out so, simply unusual.)

You speak “goodnight” in French a little differently relying on a) even if it is you typical to greet someone or bid castle farewell, and also b) how well you know them (i.e. Exactly how intimate the situation is).

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A night scene from Le Petit Prince, a classic French book for learners

Nonetheless, knowing just how to speak bonne nuit (the most literal translate in of “goodnight”) is only part of the picture. So check out the explainer below for a couple of more methods of bidding someone goodnight in French.

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Goodnight in French —Summary table

Here space the means of saying “goodnight” in French correctly, hold by where to speak them and also to whom.

“Goodnight” in FrenchWhen come say it and also to whom
Bonne nuit Most standard “goodnight” in French — use only to say goodbye come someone an extremely late, or once they’re going come bed.
Bonsoir Usually a greeting as in “good evening”; formal way of saying goodbye as in “goodnight” (less common, yet still common-ish)
Bonne soirée Literally “Good evening”; usage it to say “Have a good evening” (different from bonsoir)
Á demain Literally “until tomorrow” — this is a casual “goodnight” when someone is going to sleep
Dors avec les anges “Sleep well” — literally “Sleep through the angels”; a little much more poetic than dors bien
Fais de beaux rêves Sleep tight/pleasant dreams.
How to great someone goodnight in French

A bit much more about every of these expressions below.

Bonne Nuit — standard French because that “Good Night”

You to speak bonne nuit to wish someone goodnight in French once you recognize the other human is about to walk to bed.

They could be

Going to their very own bedroom to sleepGoing come sleep right next to youLeaving a social area to go and also get all set for sleep (even if they’re not about to sleep right away)

So friend would never ever say bonne nuit to someone leaving the office (or a late-night examine session) at 11pm… unless, again, they to be going right into the following room to sleep.

Bonsoir — an excellent Evening, or great Night

The indigenous bonsoir generally is supplied as a greeting in French. It normally conveys the an interpretation “good evening” (which you’d just say in English if you’re in a somewhat formal case — yet it’s much more common in French).

However, bonsoir can additionally mean “goodnight” in French. The usage is rather regional. In significant cities in France (Paris, Marseilles, Lyon), it’s much more common come say bonne soirée to say “goodnight” in French (as in to bid someone farewell native a party or night affair).

Saying bonsoir come say “good night” in French is slightly more formal. But in French it’s never ever really wrong come sound a tiny formal.

If you speak goodnight by saying bonsoir, the definition (hello vs goodbye) will be clear from the context.

Bonne Soirée — “Have a great evening”

You use bonne soirée to wish someone goodnight in French at any time they’re leaving (or you’re leaving).

You usage bonne soirée any type of time in the evening to to speak “goodbye”, “good night”, or “see friend later” — once it’s the last time you’ll see them till at the very least the next day.

For example, if it’s 9pm and also you simply finished having actually dinner through someone and they’re leaving, you’d great them bonne soirée. Friend wouldn’t to speak bonne nuit, together they’re not just about to go to bed (see the section on bonne nuit) above.

A demain — “See girlfriend tomorrow”

You can additionally use à demain to wish someone goodnight in French.

Really it method “see girlfriend tomorrow”. This can seem a little casual. But it’s typically said. If who is going to bed (in the exact same house), climate you will see them the next day, after ~ all…

Dors avec les anges

Literally, the expression dors avec les anges method “sleep with the angels”. You’d usage it to great someone goodnight when they’re about to go to sleep, as with bonne nuit.

A few other languages use this too. In Spanish, people say que duermas con los angelitos (though this is regional, too).

Nonetheless I like it far better than simply dors bien, as it’s an ext poetic, and creates a little of conversation if the other human being hasn’t heard it.

Fais de beaux rêves — “Sweet dreams”

Literally this way “Have beautiful dreams”.

It is offered to speak “sweet dreams” in French. Yet in that sense you execute use it to bid someone goodnight in French, or use it alongside various other expressions choose bonne nuit.

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Want to learn more French expressions as they’re naturally spoken?

It’s difficult to translate words directly, i m sorry is why we love the sentence-by-sentence technique of apps like Glossika and Speechling.