We come across so many people throughout the course of our human journey, where so many hellos and goodbyes take place. These phrases may seem basic, but they play a significant role in starting and ending things properly. The good news is that, as a language-learner, you’ve probably mastered how to say hello in Chinese by now (if not, check out our article and start learning today)!
But knowing how to say goodbye in Chinese is just as important. Choosing the best Chinese word for goodbye in a given situation will make your communication smoother, make you sound more like a native speaker, and improve the quality of your relationships. In Chinese culture, we have a variety of ways to say goodbye depending on how formal/casual the situation is, and a number of other factors.If you’re interested in learning how to say goodbye in Chinese and want to enrich your conversations or relationships, keep on reading! Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE!(Logged-In Member Only)Table of Contents
1. The Most Common Ways to Say Goodbye
To start, we’re going to show you the most popular Chinese goodbye phrases and how to use them properly.
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再见 (zài jiàn) is a formal Chinese expression that’s equivalent to the English word “goodbye.” It’s often used during formal occasions and is more preferred by the older generations. In some contexts, it can indicate feelings of sadness.In Chinese: 再见Pinyin: zài jiànLiteral meaning: See you again.In English: “Goodbye.”
One situation in which you would use this phrase is when you’re leaving school:
In Chinese: 刘老师再见。Pinyin: liú lǎo shī zài jiàn In English: “Goodbye, Teacher Liu.”
Interestingly, 拜拜 (bái bái) is a direct translation of the English word “bye-bye,” which explains why its pronunciation in Chinese is nearly identical to “bye-bye.” However, it’s rather casual and won’t be found in any traditional Chinese dictionaries. This word is often used among people of the younger generations.In Chinese: 拜拜Pinyin: bái bái In English: “Bye-bye.”
You might use this phrase after a day of hanging out with your friends:
In Chinese: 拜拜，改天再联系。Pinyin: bái bái, gǎi tiān zài lián xì In English: “Bye-bye, I will talk to you another day.”
2. More Specific Ways to Say Goodbye
Goodbyes can vary depending on the scenario…remember to find out the best option for your particular situation!
1 –In Chinese: <明天>见。Pinyin:
You might use this phrase after the school day is over, while you’re getting ready to go home:
In Chinese: 那我先回家了，明天见。Pinyin: nà wǒ xiān huí jiā le, míng tiān jiàn In English: “I’m going home now, see you tomorrow.”
2 –In Chinese: 失陪。Pinyin: shī péi Literal meaning: “You will lose my company.”In English: “Excuse me.”
You would use this phrase if you had to answer an emergency phone call during a business meeting:
In Chinese: 我需要接个紧急电话，失陪了。Pinyin: wǒ xū yào jiē gè jǐn jí diàn huà, shī péi le In English: “Excuse me, I need to answer an emergency call.”
3 –In Chinese: 我得先走一步了。Pinyin: wǒ děi xiān zǒu yī bù leLiteral meaning: “I will have to take one step ahead.”In English: “I will have to take a leave now.”
You would use this phrase if you had to leave a party early because of an emergency:
In Chinese: 抱歉，我得先走一步了，家里有急事。Pinyin: bào qiàn, wǒ děi xiān zǒu yī bù le, jiā lǐ yǒu jí shì In English: “Sorry, I will have to leave now, there is an emergency at home.”
Find the right words and don’t let other people think you are being rude during a formal occasion.
4 –In Chinese: 告辞。Pinyin: gào cí In English: “I have to leave.”
You can use this Chinese goodbye anytime you need to leave somewhere in a hurry.
In Chinese: 我还有事，就先告辞了。Pinyin: wǒ hái yǒu shì, jiù xiān gào cí le In English: “I have something else to do, I have to leave now.”
Call your old friends once in a while to show them some warmth.
5 –In Chinese: 常联系。Pinyin: cháng lián xì In English: “Let’s keep in touch.”
You might use this phrase if you just saw an old friend whom you hadn’t seen in a long time, talked a while, and need to leave now:
In Chinese: 以后常联系，我一直都在。Pinyin: yǐ hòu cháng lián xì, wǒ yī zhí dōu zài In English: “Let’s keep in touch later, I will always be there.”
6 –In Chinese: 有空再聊。Pinyin: yǒu kōng zài liáo Literal meaning: “Let’s talk again when I’m free.”
This is a handy phrase to use if your friend is talking nonstop, but you have to go do something:
In Chinese: 抱歉，我现在有点忙，咱们有空再聊。Pinyin: bào qiàn, wǒ xiàn zài yǒu diǎn máng, zán men yǒu kòng zài liáo In English: “Sorry, I am a bit busy right now. Let’s talk again when I’m free.”
7 –In Chinese: 祝你以后一切顺利。Pinyin: zhù nǐ yǐ hòu yī qiē shùn lì In English: “I wish you all the best in the future.”
Your friend got a great job offer abroad, and will leave soon:
In Chinese: 祝你以后在英国一切顺利。Pinyin: zhù nǐ yǐ hòu zài yīng guó yī qiē shùn lì In English: “I wish you all the best in the future in England.”
8 –In Chinese: 一会儿见。Pinyin: yī huìr jiàn In English: “See you later.”
Imagine you ran into a friend while doing errands, and you know you’ll see them later at a party that night. You might say:
In Chinese: 一会儿派对见。Pinyin: yī huìr pài duì jiàn In English: “I will see you later at the party.”
3. Untranslatable Goodbye Phrases in Chinese
Every language is really a form of art, and as such, each one has its own unique elements. Unsurprisingly, there are multiple ways to say goodbye in Chinese that are hard to translate. As unique as they are, learning them will definitely help you sound more like a native!
1 –In Chinese: 一路顺风。Pinyin: yī lù shùn fēng Literal meaning: May you travel in the same direction with the wind.In English: “Have a safe trip on the way home.”
Some family members who traveled far to visit you will be leaving soon to go home, so you might say:
In Chinese: 路上注意安全，一路顺风啊。Pinyin: lù shàng zhù yì ān quán, yī lù shùn fēng aIn English: “Watch out on the way back and have a safe trip.”
2 –In Chinese: 后会有期。Pinyin: hoù huì yǒu qīIn English: “We will be able to see each other again someday.”
You would use this phrase if your friend was moving abroad:
In Chinese: 有机会我去国外找你，后会有期哦。Pinyin: yǒu jī huì wǒ qù guó wài zhǎo nǐ, hòu huì yǒu qī oIn English: “I will go visit you abroad if there is a chance. We will be able to see each other again someday.”
3 –In Chinese: 回头见。Pinyin: huí tóu jiànLiteral meaning: “See you again when I turn my head around.”In English: “I will see you again another day.”
You would use this phrase if you just met a classmate during summer break, and you’ll be seeing each other in school soon:
In Chinese: 回头学校见。Pinyin: huí tóu xué xiào jiàn In English: “I will see you again another day at school.”
4 –In Chinese: 保重。Pinyin: bǎo zhòngLiteral meaning: “Keep your weight.”In English: “Take care.”
A parent might say this to their child who’s leaving for college:
In Chinese: 你在大学照顾好自己，多保重。Pinyin: nǐ zài dà xué zhào gù hǎo zì jǐ, duō bǎo zhòng In English: “You need to take care of yourself in college.”
5 –In Chinese: 辛苦了。Pinyin: xīn kǔ leIn English: “Thank you for your hard work.”
You might say this to your coworkers after a long day of work:
In Chinese: 谢谢大家今天的付出，你们辛苦了。Pinyin: xiè xie dà jiā jīn tiān de fù chū, nǐ men xīn kǔ leIn English: “Thank you for everyone’s hard work today.”
4. Bonus: Sad Ways to Say Goodbye (Breakups, Graduations, and More)
We should never forget the beautiful memories with our friends even after graduation.
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1 –In Chinese: 祝你前途似锦，一切珍重。 Pinyin: zhù nǐ qián tú sì jǐn, yī qiè zhēn zhòng In English: “I wish you a bright future and take care.”
This is something you would say to your friends and other classmates after graduation:
In Chinese: 祝你前途似锦，一切珍重，毕业后常联系。Pinyin: zhù nǐ qián tú sì jǐn, yī qiè zhēn zhòng, bì yè hòu cháng lián xì In English: “I wish you a bright future and take care, let’s keep in touch after graduation.”
2 –In Chinese: 是时候画上一个圆满的句号了。Pinyin: shì shí hou huà shàng yī gè yuán mǎn de jù hào le Literal meaning: “It is time to write a period for it.”In English: “It is time to say goodbye.”
You would say this to someone if you thought it was time to end your relationship:
In Chinese: 是时候给我们的感情画上一个圆满的句号了。Pinyin: shì shí hou gěi wǒ men de gǎn qíng huà shàng yī gè yuán mǎn de jù hào le In English: “It is time to write a period for our relationship.”
3 –In Chinese: 希望我们有缘再见。Pinyin: xī wàng wǒ men yǒu yuán zài jiàn In English: “We will meet each other again as destiny leads us.”
You would use this phrase when parting ways with someone you befriended on a road trip:
In Chinese: 世界这么大，希望我们有缘再见。Pinyin: shì jiè zhè me dà, xī wàng wǒ men yǒu yuán zài jiàn In English: “Hopefully we will meet each other again as destiny leads us in this big world.”
How do you say goodbye in Chinese?
You should have many possible answers now, but always remember to customize your answer based on your situation. You never know when it will be your last chance to say goodbye to someone, so cherish every opportunity you have and make sure to say your Chinese goodbyes in the most appropriate way. Try your best to express how much you cherish your loved ones any time you’re apart, and let these goodbyes reach their full potential!
Anyway, it’s not time to say goodbye to invernessgangshow.net yet! Don’t forget that there is still so much more to learn about the Chinese language. invernessgangshow.net can make you a conversation master through our unique lessons for learners at every level—trust me, it will be the experience of a lifetime. Embark on this fun language-learning journey with us, and I’m sure you’ll never want to say goodbye!
Before you go, let us know in the comments how you say goodbye in your language! We look forward to hearing from you.