6 Ways To Say Good Evening in French – How To Craft The Perfect “Bonsoir”?

Ways To Say Good Evening in French

Greetings are the base of learning any new language, especially French. French is a romantic language all about elegance, sweetness, and politeness.

Knowing how to say “Good Morning” in French is not enough. You need to familiarize yourself with the other greeting gestures like a “Good Evening” in French and more.

So, if you are a French learner who is always anticipating how you do say “Good Evening” in French, this article is for you.

We understand Bonjour is a standard French greeting you can use anytime. But there are other words you can use to greet if you want to be specific.

This article will tell you six easy ways to greet someone with “good evening.” Whether it is a formal meeting, informal gathering, or even with a stranger, you will impress everyone around you.

Keep reading and explore how you can build your French vocabulary and impress a fellow French speaker with your familiarity with the specifics.

Good Evening in French

The way you greet people tells them a lot about you. If you are not doing it right, you will leave a wrong impression on others.

It might not seem a big deal to you when speaking in your native language, but it is a huge thing when speaking in another dialect.

Addressing people with good morning and good evening is a sign of a well-mannered and polite person. Thus, you must do it right, no matter which language you are speaking.

“Bonsoir” is the most common phrase used by native French speakers to tell someone to have a good evening in French. 

This word sure does hold similarity to the phrase Bonjour. Still, it gives the specific meaning of wishing someone a good evening ahead. So, if you ever find someone contemplating what is good evening in French, say Bonsoir.

Nevertheless, in your French learning journey, you will come across people who only use Bonsoir to say good evening.

Do not be like those people and be stuck in a stagnant phase. There are various other ways you can wish someone a pleasant evening and, at the same time, impress them with your knowledge.

Explore 6 Different Ways To Say Good Evening In French

how do you say good evening in french

It is common to have a fascination for other people or countries’ traditions, cultures, and languages. Learning something different from your nativeness makes you grow in every scenario.

It is common among Americans to learn a new language as a hobby and an opportunity.

You will find someone around you learning a new language for their studies, career, travel purposes, or simply for leisure.

French is one of the most prevalent languages among Americans to learn. It is why you can see almost every other American saying basic greeting phrases whenever they get a chance.

But you must make your base strong if you want to be a little more than just a passing learner. And thus, we will help you learn how to greet others with a happy good evening in different French ways.

We have listed all the popular ways you can greet another person that can make them feel special and have them all impressed by you.

1. Bonsoir

Bonsoir is a standard way to greet someone good evening in French. It is more like a go-to phrase you can use even while speaking English.

Bonsoir is composed of two words “bon,” which means good, and “soir,” which means evening.

You can use this word or phrase in both formal & informal situations.

You can use “Bonsoir” when meeting someone or entering a place like someone’s house, restaurant, or other familiar settings.

Remember, you can use this word only at the beginning of a sentence.

For Example:

If you want to say good evening to everyone in French, you will say “Bonsoir à tous.”

  • Good evening everyone – Bonsoir à tous
  • Good evening, have you reserved a table?- Bonsoir, est-ce que vous avez reserve une table?

How to Reply To Bonsoir?

Knowing how to greet others with a good evening in the French dialect is not enough. 

There will be times when you will be greeted with Bonsoir by others. And if you want to keep the conversation going, you must learn how to reply to the address.

The evening holds a special place in French culture. Famous French cities like Paris, Montreal, and Brussels are known for their exotic nightlives and people’s preference to have candlelight dinners with good wine.

So, you must know how to greet and reply to other people.

If someone greets you with the word Bonsoir, you can reply by saying Bonsoir back to them.

Do not get confused. In French, the term bonsoir can be used by both the person initiating the conversation & the person replying to it.

Thus, if someone greets you with a good evening with any salutation, you can reply by simply saying good evening.

For Example:

While greeting good evening in French to a man or a woman, you will say-

  • Good evening, sir- Bonsoir, monsieur
  • Good evening madam – Bonsoir, madame

So next time you want to show off your French skills among your friends, you can start by greeting them with Bonsoir <your friend’s name>.

2. Bonne Soirée

French is similar yet quite different from English. In English, we have designated terms we use for greetings at particular times, which goes both ways.

However, the French like to mess with people a little. In French, the evening is one thing, and wishing someone to have a good evening is another. When you want to say evening as the specific time of the day, you will use the word “Soir.” It is a masculine version.

However, when you want to know or ask what a person is up to or will do that evening, you will use the word “Soirée.” It is the feminine version.

Similarly, when you want to say good evening, combine the feminine versions of both words to form Bonne Soirée.

In simpler terms, Bonne Soirée is the correct term to greet people with a good evening when you don’t know the other person’s plans for the evening.

The best part is that you can use this greeting phrase in both formal & informal situations.

For Example:

  • Have a good evening, I’ll see you tomorrow!- Bonne soirée, on se voit demain!
  • Have a good evening – passez une bonne soirée.

How to Reply To Bonne Soirée?

People like it when others greet them properly, especially with specific terms.

For example, a person would love your greeting more if you said “good morning to you” instead of a simple “morning.”

Bonne Soirée is a greeting phrase that you will only use with people about whom you know what they are going to do that night.

So, basically, this term is mainly reserved to use with family and close friends. Similarly, only the people you are close to will use this phrase with you. Thus, when someone greets you with “Bonne Soirée,” you can reply to them with a simple “Merci” (Thank You).

Suggestion: Bonjour! 14 Different Ways To Say “Good Morning” in French | Greet With A Smile

However, if you want to be more polite, you can say merci beaucoup (thank you very much). And if you desire to wish them good evening as well, go for the phrase merci, bonne soirée à vous aussi (Thank you, good evening to you too).

For Example:

  • Thank you, good evening to you too- Merci, bonne soirée à vous aussi
  • Merci- Thank You
  • Merci beaucoup- Thank you very much

3. Je Vous Souhaite Une Bonne Soirée

If you are in a formal setting or do not know the person in front of you, you can greet them a good evening by saying “Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée.

Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée means “I wish you a good evening” or “I bid you good evening.”

In formal settings, you can use this phrase to initiate a conversation or reply to others. 

It can be used with people and friends you know but are not close to.

For Example:

  • I wish you a good evening- Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée

This phrase can be said formally to a single person or a gathering.

How To Reply To Je Vous Souhaite Une Bonne Soirée?

You always reply formally to a formal greeting when in a traditional setting.

So, whether it is someone you know or an absolute stranger, you reply to their Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée with a Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée.

If you like, you can add “merci” at the beginning of the sentence. However, replying to a good evening without thanks is still all good.

For Example:

  • Thanks. I wish you a good evening- Merci. Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée
  • I wish you a good evening John- Je vous souhaite une bonne soirée John

4. Excellente Soirée

If you want a less common phrase to wish someone a good evening that is bound to grab people’s attention, then “Excellente Soirée” is what you should say.

Excellente Soirée is the short form or version of Je vous souhaite une excellente soirée, which means “I wish you an excellent or a wonderful evening.”

The greeting “Excellente Soirée” is not used very commonly. You will hear it rarely in both formal & informal speech.

Related: 10 Common Ways to Say “I Don’t Know” in The French Language With Examples

Advertisements and Television are where this greeting is prominent in French.

One of the biggest reasons this greeting is not famous is because French people are not big on exaggerating.

So, do not use the word “Excellente” unless you want to show your enthusiasm for someone or something.

For Example:

  • Great/Good Evening – Excellente soirée
  • Great Evening Rachel – Excellente soirée Rachel

How to Reply To Excellente Soiree?

Replying to any greeting in French is simple. In most cases, you wish the person the same greeting based on whether you are in a formal or informal place.

So, if anyone greets you a great evening by saying Excellente Soirée, you can reply to them by repeating the phrase back to them.

For Example:

  • Good Evening Daniel- Excellente Soirée Daniel

And if you like to make it specific to them, you can say:

  • Good Evening To You Too- Excellente Soirée à vous aussi
  • Same to you – à vous aussi or à vous de même.

5. Mesdames, Messieurs Bonsoir

When you find yourself in a situation where you have to address a large group of people, you can greet them at once by saying, “Mesdames, messieurs bonsoir.”

Mesdames, messieurs bonsoir means “Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen”.

This phrase is highly common among French news anchors as they start their newscasts with this phrase.

Please understand that you can only use this term when addressing a huge crowd, or a large number of people, say in a hosting event, party, auction & other similar events.

So, if you want to say good evening everyone in French but wants to make it more sophisticated, go for mesdames, messieurs bonsoir.

For Example:

  • Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen- Mesdames, messieurs bonsoir

How to Reply To Mesdames, messieurs bonsoir?

The phrase “Mesdames, Messieurs Bonsoir” is used when a person addresses many people at once.

You will hear a host at an event, a news anchor on tv (and other similar scenarios) saying this to all the people listening to them.

Thus, this phrase is more like an address and does not call for getting a reply.

So, whether you are saying “Mesdames, messieurs bonsoir” to people or someone is saying it to you, there is no need for a reply.

6. Bonne Nuit

Most French learning beginners need clarification with different phrases saying good evening and good night.

In English, we have specific phrases that cover the generals. However, when it comes to French, there are certain terms that you can only use under a specific scenario.

Bonne Nuit is one such phrase. Here. “Bonne” means “Good,” and “Nuit” means night.

Although it is used to express the gesture of a good evening, it truly does not mean a good evening and is entirely different from Bonne Soirée.

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You say “Bonne Soirée” when you don’t know the other person’s plans for the rest of their evening.

“Bonne Nuit” is only said when you are sure the other person will turn themselves in for the night. In simpler terms, they are going to sleep.

Thus, never confuse “Bonne Nuit” as a synonym for “Bonne Soirée.” 

Bonne Nuit is more of a good night greeting than a good evening one.

For Example:

  • Good night, sleep well- Bonne nuit, dormez bien
  • Good night, sweet dreams- Bonne nuit, faites de beaux rêves

How to Reply To Bonne Nuit?

French people have few particular phrases for greeting, like in English.

They like to keep it simple and, thus, most of the time, use one phrase for several scenarios.

You can use “bonjour” to greet people in almost every scene, but there are a few phrases for greeting people good night & good evening.

“Bonne Nuit” is a phrase to greet people with “good night” and not a good evening.

It may sound similar to Bonne Soirée but holds an entirely different meaning.

You will mostly find people using this term with their close ones. You can say it to other people in informal & formal settings, but only when you are sure they are going to sleep.

So, when someone greets you with bonne nuit, you can reply with Bonne Soirée. However, if you are sure they will also turn in for the night, you can reply by saying bonne nuit.

For Example:

  • Good night, mum- Bonne nuit, maman
  • Good night, my baby- Bonne nuit mon bébé
  • Good night, my love- Bonne nuit, ma chérie (Feminine)
  • Good night, my love – Bonne nuit mon cher (Maculine)

Top FAQs En rapport Ways To Say Good Evening In French Pronunciation

What is the Difference between Bonsoir & Bonne Soirée?

The foremost thing you need to know is that Bonsoir and Bonne Soirée are phrases to wish others a good evening.

The biggest difference between the two is that the “Bonsoir” is a formal greeting and is always used between people who do not know each other well.

Whereas “bonne soirée” is a greeting that can be used in both formal & informal settings with friends & acquaintances.

Another difference you will find between the two is in their usage.

Bonsoir is usually used alone apart from the salutations monsieur or madame. Where as bonnee soirée is generally used in longer sentences.

So, if you are new in your office and do not know anyone but want to be polite with fellow French speakers, “Bonsoir” is your go-to word.

How to say good evening in French?

In French, there are more than one ways to greet others with a good evening. There are some phrases only for formal events, while others can be used in regular manners,

Check out the top five ways you can greet someone good evening and impress them with your knowledge & charm:

  • Bonsoir (Formal Greeting)
  • Bonne Soiree (Formal/Informal Greeting)
  • Je vous souhaite une Bonne Soirée (Fromal Greeting)
  • Excellente Soirée (Formal/Informal Greeting)
  • Mesdames, Messieurs Bonsoir (Formal Greeting)
How to say good evening in French to a woman?

You can greet a woman on a wonderful evening in French in many different ways. 

Some phrases are to be used in a formal environment, while others can be used in general.

You can impress a lady by greeting a good evening in French in the following ways:

  • Good evening madam- Bonsoir Madame
  • Good evening mademoiselle- Bonsoir mademoiselle
  • Good evening beautiful- Bonsoir ma belle
  • Have a good evening, my love- Bonne soirée, ma chérie (Feminine)
What is a good evening in French?

Good evening is a greeting we use to wish other people we meet at that particular time of the day.

Greetings are important as they are a way we acknowledge the presence of others and vice versa.

They are one of the easiest and most polite ways to interact with strangers, acquaintances, friends & family.

“Bonsoir” is the most common phrase to greet someone with a pleasant evening in French. 

Sure, there are other words too, but if you are not interested in learning the language all the way through, this phrase can let you go by.

How can I greet a good evening in French to a man?

You can greet a man with a pleasant evening in French in several ways. The type of phrase you will use depends on the scenario, like whether you are in a formal event or at an informal sitting.

You can make a man feel special & impressed by greeting him with a warm evening in French in the following ways:

  • Good evening sir- Bonsoir Monsieur
  • Good evening gentlemen- Bonsoir messieurs
  • Good evening handsome- Bonsoir mon beau
  • Good evening my love- Bonsoir mon amour
How to depart with someone by saying, French?

If you meet someone and are now leaving during the evening time, it is always nice to depart with a proper greeting.

You can say a simple good evening in English. However, if you want to show your French skills, you can say “au revoir bonne soirée” which means “bye have a good evening in French.”

It is always nice to add the touch of a bye, hello, and take care with your good evening greeting.


Meeting & greeting are parts of our lives. It would be best if you were well-versed in wishing people and replying to them to seem confident, stylish, and knowledgeable.

Learning a new language is only useful if you can get the basics right. And this article covers all the basics of how to say good evening in French.

We hope you learned something valuable and will include it in your daily life to get a better hold of greeting people in French.

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