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Life skills tip of the week: ways of saying goodbye

Macmillan Life Skills: language is a life skillLearning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skillsaid Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month.

As part of the series, we’ll bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself.

This week’s language tip helps with ways of saying goodbye:

bye: the most common way of saying goodbye to a friend or someone you know well:
Bye then,  thanks for coming!

goodbye: used when you are leaving someone or when someone is leaving you, or when you are finishing a telephone call:
Goodbye,  Mr Taylor.’ ‘Goodbye,  John.’

bye-bye: an informal way of saying goodbye:
Bye-bye,  see you tomorrow.

See you (later)/Catch you later: informal ways of saying goodbye to someone when you expect to see them again soon:
I’d better go now. I have to pick the children up from school. See you later!

See you around/(I’ll) be seeing you: used for saying goodbye to someone you know well, when you are not sure when you will see them again:
See you around, it was really nice to see you.

Good night/Night: used for saying goodbye when you leave someone at night or before they go to bed:
Good night. Thanks for a great party!
Night all. I’m off to bed.

Night night: used for saying goodnight, especially to a child before they go to bed:
Night night sweetheart. Sweet dreams.

Take care: used when you say goodbye to someone you know well when they are leaving, in order to show that you care about them:
Bye now. Take care.

Have a safe trip/Drive safely: used when you say goodbye to someone you know well when they are leaving to go home or to go on a trip:
Drive safely! Give us a call when you get home.

(It was) nice meeting you/(It was) nice to meet you: used for saying goodbye to someone when you have just met them for the first time:
It was nice to meet you, Mr. Mitchell. Have a good trip back to Scotland.

Cheers/Cheerio: informal ways of saying goodbye used in British English. Cheerio is slightly old-fashioned:
I’ll say cheerio for now.

Laters/Laters: a very informal way of saying goodbye to someone who you will see later:
Later guys.

Would you like to learn more about pragmatics? Keep a close eye on our pragmatics page; you can find the seventh life skills lesson plan there. For more information about Life Skills, visit the Macmillan Life Skills page.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter


  • Hi Laxmidhar. These phrases, along with others like ‘Pleased to meet you’ or ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you’ mean the same thing and differ only in frequency and/or level of formality. ‘Nice to meet you’ is much more frequently used than ‘glad to meet you’. ‘Glad to meet you’ seems to me a little more enthusiastic, as ‘glad’ is a stronger word than ‘nice’. But they mean the same and can be used interchangeably.

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