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A Dozen Different Ways to Say “Goodbye” in Chinese

Common ways

再见
(zài jiàn)

This is one of the most common and standard ways to say goodbye, which means Goodbye or See you.

拜拜
(bàibài)

This is a very casual phrase, and it’s the one that you will likely hear the most in everyday conversations casual way. It’s phonetic translation of the English “bye-bye”.

Formal and polite ways

When you are in a formal setting, such as a business meeting, you’ll need to use some more polite expressions that have a sincere and professional tone to fit the atmosphere.

失陪(一会儿)
(shīpéi yīhuǐr)
Excuse me, but I need to leave (for a while).

This is a very proper phrase you can use when you want to excuse yourself from a meeting or conversation. If you are going to return soon, you can add 一会儿 after it.

再联系
(zài liánxì)
Let’s stay in touch.

This phrase directly translates to “contact again”. It’s a respectful way to show that you intend to stay in touch with someone.

告辞
(gào cí)
I’m leaving

This is a very formal way to announce that you are leaving.

For example: 我告辞了!(I‘m leaving.)/ 我先告辞了!(I‘m leaving first.)

(有空)再会
(yǒu kòng zàihuì)
(If you’re available) let’s catch up later; let’s meet again

This expression is quite similar to 再见, but it sounds much more polite and sincere. It’s a simple way to sound more fluent and polite when speaking Chinese in a formal setting.

后会有期
(hòuhuìyǒuqī)
We will meet again one day.

This is like “farewell”. If you are about to depart but are not sure when you will see each other again, you can say “后会有期”, which sounds very cordial and sincere, though it is a little dramatic to say in daily life.  

More Specific Ways

_______ 见 (jiàn)

This structure is very useful if you know when you will see someone next. As we have already mentioned, 见 means “see”. So if we add an approximate time before 见, it means “see you” at that certain point in time. Let’s look at some examples.

回头见
(huítóu jiàn)
See you later.

一会儿见
(yī huǐr jiàn)
See you in a while.

明天见
(míngtiān jiàn)
See you tomorrow.

下午见
(xiàwǔ jiàn)
See you this afternoon.

下周见
(Xià zhōu jiàn)
See you next week.

周一见
(zhōuyī jiàn)
See you Monday.

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