How To Say Good Evening In French: Crafting The Perfect ‘Bonsoir’

CCube Academy
4 min readFeb 9


Greeting someone in French is always a great way to make a good impression and show off your language skills. But did you know there are several ways to say “Good Evening” in French? In this article, we’ll look at how to craft the perfect “Bonsoir” and learn some other useful phrases for greeting people in the evening.

Introduction to Saying Good Evening in French

When you want to say have a good evening in French, you say “bonsoir.” You can also say “bonne soirée” if you want to be more formal. To say good night, you say “bonne nuit.”

Here are some tips on how to craft the perfect “bonsoir”:

1. Use bonsoir when greeting someone in the evening, after 6 p.m.
2. Don’t forget to add the person’s title if you know it (Monsieur, Madame, Mademoiselle).
3. If you want to be extra polite, add “enchanté” (pleasant) or “ravi” (delighted) after bonsoir. For example: Enchanté de vous rencontrer or Ravie de vous revoir.
4. You can also use bonsoir on the phone when answering or ending a call made in the evening.
5. When writing an email or letter, you can start with Bonsoir followed by the person’s name.

What is a “Bonsoir”?

A “bonsoir” is a French word for “good evening.” It can be used as a greeting or as a farewell, and is considered to be more formal than saying “bonjour” or “bonne nuit.” While “bonsoir” can be translated literally to mean “good evening,” it is more commonly used to mean “hello” or “goodbye.”

Different Ways to Say Good Evening in French

When it comes to greeting someone in French, there is no shortage of options. Whether you are looking for a more formal way to say good evening or something more casual, there is definitely a phrase for you. Here are some different ways to say good evening in French:

- Bonsoir: This is the most formal way to say good evening in French and would typically be used when greeting someone you don’t know very well or when speaking to someone of authority.

- Salut: This is a more casual way of saying hello or goodbye and can be used with friends and family.

- Ça va?: This phrase means “how are you?” and can be used as a way to start up a conversation with someone. It can also be followed up with a comment on how the other person is doing.

- Bonne soirée: This phrase means “have a good evening” and can be used as a farewell when you are leaving someone’s company.

How to Craft the Perfect “Bonsoir” for Any Occasion?

When it comes to greeting someone in French, you have a few options. You can say “bonjour” (good day), “bonsoir” (good evening), or “salut” (hi). Each of these greetings is appropriate for different times of day and different situations.

If you want to wish someone a good evening, “bonsoir” is the way to go. This word can be used both formally and informally, so it’s perfect for any occasion. Here are a few tips on how to craft the perfect “bonsoir” for any situation:

When greeting someone you know well, add a personal touch by including their name or nickname. For example, you could say “Bonsoir, Jean-Claude” or “Bonsoir, mon ami.”

If you’re unsure of how formal the situation is, err on the side of caution and use a more formal greeting. For example, if you’re meeting your boss for the first time, it’s better to say “Bonsoir, Monsieur Dupont” than just “Bonsoir.”

In general, it’s best to keep your bonsoir simple and straightforward. There’s no need to add unnecessary words or embellishments — just wish the person a good evening and move on with your conversation.

Tips for Remembering and Using “Bonsoir”

When it comes to greeting people in French, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, “bonsoir” is only used in the evening, so if you want to say “good morning,” you should use “bonjour” instead. Second, “bonsoir” can be used both formally and informally, so it’s up to you to decide which one is more appropriate for the situation.

If you’re meeting someone for the first time or you’re not sure how they’ll react to an informal greeting, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and go with the formal option. To do this, simply say “bonsoir” followed by the person’s surname. For example: “Bonsoir, Monsieur Dupont.”

If you know the person well or you’re pretty confident they won’t mind an informal greeting, then feel free to use “salut” instead of “bonsoir.” This is the equivalent of saying “hey” or “what’s up” in English and it’s perfectly acceptable in most social situations.

Finally, remember that French people tend to greet each other with two kisses on the cheek (known as la bise). If you’re not used to this custom, it can feel a bit strange at first but don’t worry — just go with the flow and follow what everyone else is doing.

Examples of Using “Bonsoir” in Different Situations

“Bonsoir” is a versatile French word that can be used in a variety of different situations. Here are some examples of how you might use “bonsoir” in different contexts:

When greeting someone in the evening: Bonsoir, monsieur/madame.

When saying goodbye to someone in the evening: Au revoir, monsieur/madame.

When answering the phone in the evening: Allô? Bonsoir!

gIn a restaurant, when being seated by the host: Bonsoir, monsieur/madame. Table pour deux, s’il vous plaît.

In a restaurant, when ordering food or drink: Je voudrais… (I would like…) Merci, bonsoir! (Thank you, good night!)

When writing a letter or email: Cher Monsieur/Madame… (Dear Sir/Madam…) Veuillez agréer l’expression de mes cordiales salutations. (Please find enclosed my best regards.)


Crafting the perfect ‘bonsoir’ is a great way to show that you have an understanding of the French language and culture. Saying good evening in French is an essential part of learning how to properly greet someone, so it’s important to practice making this phrase sound natural and authentic. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be saying bonsoir like a native speaker in no time!



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