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Vocabulary: Saying good-bye
"Au-revoir", two little words in French! "Good-bye", two little words in English... and yet, in both languages, and in most languages, there are numerous expressions to let someone go - sometimes for a very short moment, some other times forever -
Here, we'll discover these expressions in the different registers of the language.
etymonline.com gives us etymology and writes:
Salutation in parting, also Goodbye, Good-bye, Good by, 1590s form Goodbwye (1570s),
a contraction of God be with ye (late 14.c), influenced by Good day, Good evening, etc.
As a noun in 1570s.
"Good-bye": these "little words", uttered by millions of people, many many times a day, are quite basic but a little formal. That's why there are so many expressions making them more or less friendly and more or less casual.
I) In situations of personal life, family or friendly gatherings (whether they're formal or more casual):
- Bye: is the same as the standard, more formal "Good-bye" - used between friends, in your family or with your co-workers.
- Bye-bye: rather used for or with kids or between adults in order to charm others or joke.
- See you later/ See ye later/ See you soon/ I must be going: used for everyone, including friends.
- I've got to get going. / I must be going: announces the separation and prepares the departure.
- Anyway, I'm off!/ Right then, I'm off! : informal: announces a departure.
- So long! (used in headlines, not common.)
II) In less formal situations: the casual language used by young people... and even slang are very often heard...
- Have a good one! (very casual)
- Alright! (very casual!)
- Later/ Later, man!/ Later bro!/ Laters!: (short for "See you later!")/ Catch ya later! : (slang) used by teenagers in very informal situations.
- Peace/ Peace out! (out-dated), casual in the 90s (Peace and Love! )
- I'm out!/ I'm out here! : very casual. When leaving High School, or Junior High! Happy to go home with friends...
- I gotta jet!/ Gotta take off! / Head out! (Slang)/ gotta = I've got to: a little sad to have to leave!
- Smell you later! (Slang!)
Be careful when you decide to pick a register or another one... and try not to limit yourself to just one!
III) In more formal situations: in business, at work...
- Farewell! * = "May you fare well!" : May you have success... (It has something final!) = Adieu! [a' dew]
- Have a nice day!/ Have a good day! : Polite; use with people you don't know very well. This expression may have varied complements: Have a good holiday/ vacation/ have a good weekend!/ a good afternoon! etc.
- Take care! ( warm and genuine.) Told to someone you only see occasionally.
- Until .../ Until next week... = See you next week! when you know the moment or your following meeting)
- I was nice to see you again!/ Nice seeing you again! Nice meeting you! (After a first meeting...)
- I look forward to our next meeting! (very formal, even written)= Impatient to meet again...
* = A farewell performance! A farewell party! Farewell wishes! A farewell party!
IV) A NEW TREND... saying GOOD BYE in FOREIGN LANGUAGES:
- Adios!= The Spanish word is a casual way to say good-bye to friends.
- Ciao!= The Italian word is stylish and sophisticated.
- Au-revoir!= The French words sound romantic or may be used jokingly.
- Sayonara!= The Japanese word is often associated to action movies.
There you are! Once again, the difficulty in the test will be to match the expressions and the correct situations... Good luck and ...THE FORCE!
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