Contrary to usual first impressions, French is a very interesting language and not as complex as many people think. It comes with flexible words and phrases.
You can expect one expression to come in many different ways. Each can even tell how close you are with the person you’re talking to or what relationship you have with them. You can be formal, informal, or even show sweetness just through a few words.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the phrase, “good night”. This is one of the most versatile expressions in the language. For the following sections, we’ll walk you through the different ways on how you can tell people to have a good night in French.
Table of Contents
- How to say Goodnight in French in a formal Way
- Have a Good Night in French for close Friends and Acquaintances
How to say Goodnight in French in a formal Way
If you want to wish someone a good night or good evening in a polite manner, then you have to turn to formal greetings. These are reserved for people that either has higher authority over you, or simply, people that you don’t know that well.
Here are the phrases that you can use:
“Bonsoir” is a French expression that literally translates to “good evening”. This is the evening version of the greeting “bonjour”.
Though this phrase is specifically designed for greeting people, you can also use this to end a meeting or conversation. Between strangers and far acquaintances, this is also a common way to tell a simple goodnight.
For our second phase, we have “Bonne soirée”. Like the previous, its rough translation is also “good evening”. However, this is used when you want to wish someone a good night. This is equivalent to “have a good night”, which is more to the point compared to “Bonsoir”.
Both of the expressions above can be used for both opening and closing greetings. French people, however, are particular about the time. Hence, make sure that you’ll only be using these after 6 PM.
Have a Good Night in French for close Friends and Acquaintances
You have a lot more options for good night phrases when you’re talking to close friends. These are usually informal expressions that are for casual use.
“Bonne nuit” directly translates to “good night” in English. This is the simplest way to say goodnight and is rather a more personal way to do so.
Je vais dormir
Next up, we have “je vais dormir”. This means “I’m going to sleep.” This expression is commonly used when you’re initiating an end to a conversation by going to sleep. Basically, you’re saying that “I’m tired, I want to sleep, so good night.”
Je vais me coucher
“Je vais me coucher” means “I’m going to bed.” This is similar to the former, except this translates more to “taking a rest” rather than directly sleeping. This is an uncommon way to say good night but is still acceptable nonetheless.
This phrase can be both a greeting and a response. This means “sleep well” and is a casual way to wish someone a good night and/or sleep.
“Demain” means “until tomorrow”. You can say this if you have planned the next day with the person that you wished a good night to. Even so, this can still be used for casual good night expressions.
Dors avec les Anges
If you want a sweeter and more poetic way to say good night to someone, you can say “dors avec les anges.” It is equivalent to “sleep with the angels,” and is a better way to wish someone a good sleep.
Remember to not use this on people that you don’t know or those with a superior position. Again, these are informal, so one can get disrespected when misused.
If you want the safest option, you can simply say “Bonsoir!” or “Bon soirée!” Both of these are formal and polite ways to wish someone a good night.
On the flip side, if you’re certain that you are talking with close friends and personal acquaintances, then you can just say “Bonne Nuit!” It’s the easiest way to wish someone a pleasant night in French.
As you can see, there are a lot of expressions that you can use to tell people to have a good night in French. If you’re not a native, however, you may need to take extra care in what phrase you’ll use. Take your relationship with the other person into account.