Goodbye In Chinese

“Hello”, “thank you”, “goodbye”, these are the most commonly used words in our daily life, and the first words we learn in any foreign language. We believe that you’ve already learned how to say “hello” and “goodbye” in Chinese, for example “你好“,“再见”. In fact, like “hello”, there are also number of ways to say goodbye in Mandarin. Today, we are going to introduce 10 phrases that Chinese people use in daily conversation to say “goodbye”.

1. 再见: zàijiàn

 Good Bye / Bye now / See you, Farewell

“再见” is the most common and standard way to say goodbye in Chinese. It can be used with any person in all kinds of situations, doesn’t matter if you think you would see or meet this person again or not.

2. 拜拜: bái bái

Bye Bye

The word “Bye Bye” is very popular in Mainland China nowadays. Of course, it must be familiar to you because it sounds exactly like English. Obviously, it is a loanword from English. Sometimes people say a single word“拜” (bài), but most Chinese people usually say two words together. In written expression, because the Chinese word of “8” sounds so similar to the word of “bye”, people sometimes use “88” to indicate goodbye in text messages.

3. 回见/回头见: huí jiàn / huí tóu jiàn

 See you again / See you later

In Chinese, “回头” literally means to turn the head around. When it combined with “见”,the term emphasizes you will see each other later again. For example, when we leave class, we say goodbye to our classmates because we will see them again soon, we can use the word “回头见”.


4. (Specific Time/Date) +“见”

If we are certain about when we going to meet each other again, we can place the time or date at the beginning of the sentence before the word “见“. Just like English, we always say “see you tomorrow”, “see you next week”. The only difference is that in English, we put the time and date at the end, in Chinese, it is the opposite.

For example:

明天见 (míng tiān jiàn) See you tomorrow

待会儿见 (dāi huì ér jiàn) see you in a little while

一会儿见 (yī huì ér jiàn) See you soon

下次见 (xià cì jiàn)  See you next time

周一见(zhōu yī jiàn) see you on Monday

十点见 (shí diǎn jiàn) see you at 10:00

5. 我先告辞了 : wǒ xiān gào cí le

I’d better be off

This term is a polite and quite formal expression to say “good bye” in Chinese. It is often used in a formal social setting when we must leave first. Or we would say it in a casual setting if there are many friends gathered and we must leave early.

6. 我走了/我撤了:  wǒ zǒu le / wǒ chè le

I am leaving/ I am going / I’m off

“撤“ means wit“撤“ means withdraw. “我撤了”means I am going or I’m off. These two expressions are often used in casual settings, such as when we speak to close friends or family members. It is a very relax tone when we use this word to say bye.

For example: 你们再玩会儿,我撤了 (nǐ men zài wán huì ér, wǒ chè le)You guys have some fun. I’m going now.

7. 再联系/ 保持联系: zài lián xì / bǎo chí lián xì

Let’s catch up later / Keep in touch / Let’s stay in touch

“保持“ means to keep, maintain and hold something. When it combines with the word “联系“,it means “keep in touch”, “stay in touch”. “再联系“ and “保持联系”  are two polite ways to say bye in Chinese when we are not sure when we are going to contact each other again. It also shows our desire to stay in touch with others when we use this term.

For example:

今天很高兴见到你,我们再联系!(jīn tiān hěn gāo xìng jiàn dào nǐ, wǒ men zài lián xì) Nice to see you today, let’s keep in touch!

8. 再会: zài huì

See you again / meet you again

In the context, “会“means “meet” or “see”, so when it combines with ”再“,the word means meet you again or see you again. The meaning of “再会” is similar to “再见” , but it is not used very often. We can use this expression when speaking to people we just met.

9. 失陪: shī péi

Excuse me, but I must be leaving now/ Excuse me for my absence

Literally, “失陪“means I can no longer accompany you. This expression is similar to “告辞“, it is a formal way to say bye in Chinese. When we are in a formal social setting, we can say “失陪”if we must leave early.

10.有空再聊: yǒu kòng zài liáo

Chat to you later / Speak to you later / Let’s chat again

The word “有空再聊” literally means talk to you when we have time. It is often used in a informal setting. For example, when we are having a conversation with friends, classmates or colleagues, and about to say bye to them, we could use this expression to indicate we want to continue the conversation with them next time.

As we can see from above phrases, to say goodbye in Chinese do not always involve the word “见“, and there are many expressions to say bye depend on different settings. Hope this post gives you a better understanding of under what kind of circumstances we should use which phrase. We trust if you can use expressions other than “再见“ well, you would sound more native and impress the others.