la confiture

Best way to sign off or end an email in French: How to say "goodbye" or "cheers" or "sincerely"?

A shopfront in Le Panier--a quartier in Marseilles. Scroll down for a list of ways to sign off email correspondence.

  1. to leave, to quit
  2. to give up, vacate, forsake, abandon
  3. to exit

LISTEN: Hear Jean-Marc pronounce today's quote: Download wav

  Il faut se quitter souvent pour s'aimer toujours.
  We must leave each other often in order to love each other forever.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
I am fascinated with farewells (of the e-mail kind) when I'm not downright fussing over how to end my own courriels. Signing off after even the briefest note is cause for over-reflection, and I sometimes stare for minutes at the blank screen before relying on the same old (boring?) standby:


While gros bisous still sounds a little too intimate, I ask myself if tchao--something I love the sound and French spelling of--isn't a bit hip or sort of pretentious sounding (tchao darling!)? Oh well, I never know, but I am game to try all of the farewells noted below.  I hope you will too!


à bientôt = (see) you soon
à très bientôt = (see) you real soon
adieu = goodbye (forever)
affectueusement = affectionately (love)
à la prochaine = until next time
à tout à l'heure = toodeloo
amicalement = (literally: "in a friendly way") yours, best wishes, regards
amitiés = (amitié = friendship) yours, best wishes, regards
amitiés sincères = sincere regards
à plus (or "à+" or "@+") = later
au plaisir = with the pleasure of seeing you again
au revoir = goodbye
avec toute mon amitié = with all my friendship
bien à toi = yours
bien à vous = yours

bien affectueusement = yours affectionately
bien amicalement = best wishes
bien amicalement à vous = best wishes to you
bien cordialement = warmly
bien des choses à tous = best to all
bien/très respectueusement = with much respect
bisettes = kisses
des bisettes = kisses
bisous = kisses

bisous à tous = kisses to all
bonne continuation = keep up the good work
bonne journée = have a nice day
bons baisers = big kisses
cordialement = cordially
d'un (d'une) ami(e) = from a friend
encore merci = thanks again
grosse bise = big kiss
gros bisous = big kisses

je serai toujours là pour vous = I'll always be there for you
je t'embrasse (je vous embrasse) = big kiss, with love
je t'embrasse très fort = great big kiss, with lots of love
meilleures salutations = best salutations
meilleurs sentiments = best wishes
merci = thanks
mes amitiés = my best wishes, my best regards
mes salutations respectueuses = yours faithfully
mille baisers = a thousand kisses
plein de baisers = lots of kisses
salut = bye
salutations = salutations
salutations distinguées = distinguished salutations
tchao (also à tchao!) = ciao, bye
tendresse = fondly
tiens bon (tenez bon) = take care, hang in there
ton ami(e) = your friend
toute mon amitié = very best wishes
très cordiales salutations = warm salutations
votre ami(e) = your friend

...and last, but not least:

Ciao for niao... a bit misspelled--but it rhymes!
Il faut se quitter souvent pour s'aimer toujours.
You need to leave each other often to love each other forever.

Autumn in Lyon (c) Kristin Espinasse
Autumn in Lyon. All photos (c) Kristin Espinasse unless otherwise noted.

ne quittez pas = hold the line, hold on (when telephoning)
quitter le deuil = to come out of mourning
quitter la partie = to give up, to throw in the towel
quitter les lieux = to vacate the premises
ne pas quitter d'une semelle = to not let somebody out of your site
365 Days of French Expressions: Learn one new French Expression per Day

Verb conjugation: je quitte, tu quittes, il/elle quitte, nous quittons, vous quittez, ils/elles quittent; past participle: quitté

Cat in Vacqueras (c) Kristin Espinasse
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Cori Bath

I do look like Elisabeth the first!

Jennifer in OR

The cat says, "Doesn't this blue just bring out the color in my eyes?"

Fun post, thanks for all the ways to say adieu!




Mmmm, my favorite (but only for casual emails) is "catchyal8rg8r". :)


I end mine in a boring way, either A+ or Amicalement. Not too original but it works and saves the time to come up with something new everytime :)


Caption: Forget the blue shutters - feed me

I regularly get emails ending in Bx -- as in bisous -- from the other parents at our school.

Debbie Chavers

Caption: I hope someone will open the door soon!

I love all the ways you posted to greet and say good-bye. Thank you!
My notion is if I can't think of anything to say in their language or mine. Then I respond with a hug or a smile because both break down language barriers :)

Diana Taylor, Pug At The Beach

I have several closing lines including:

Make it a beach day!
My best of the beach to you!

and my favorite, which is how I autograph my books:

May all your adventures be a day at the beach!

Diana Taylor, author and Top Dog
Pug At The Beach


Forget the mouse, I want foie gras!


Merci beaucoup for the many ways to say au revior. I plan to use them. mes amitiés


It all depends on who are talking to.
When it is a buddy : @+
When it is professional : Meilleurs sentiments
When it is family : Gros bisous
When it is a close friend : Amicalement
When it is a first contact : Cordialement
When it is my wife : Bisous partout !

Jan Marquardt

"En France, je suis le 'Roi' des animaux, mais aux États-Unis je serais simplement 'Roy'." Je resterai ici!

Susan B.

Being fron the U.S., it depends whom I'm writing to and how well I
know them. Many languages have many different good-byes. We have no standard, just, from, or love if
we know the person better.




Great photos!!! Love the contrast of the cat and the blue shutters. Merci. and thanks for the selection of closings. What a super resource and all in one spot.


I also always hesitate. With friends I alternate "Gros Bises", "A+" and "Bisous".
A friend of mine sometimes writes "La bise" like the kisses "near" the cheek that the French give to say goodbye


Damn! I'm gettin' too old for this m*****!

Kristin I

Friends: Kristin XOXO
Friends at work: Many thanks!
Ma chef: Bonne journee!
Professionals: Thanks and regards,
People I am annoyed with or don't know: Best regards,


Ce que je pense des expressions de la liste:

1) I never end with “Ton amie” / “Votre amie”, but -> “Amicalement” and "Bien amicalement" (without ->"à vous"). To a group of people -> "Amitié(s) à vous tous".
No problem with “Amitié”, “Toute mon amitié”, “Avec toute mon amitié”, or "Amitiés". However, in the expression “Amitiés sincères”, sincerity is already contained in the meaning of “Amitiés”, so the adj “sincères” is superfluous.

2) “Au plaisir” – To my friends & family, I would normally say, according to the context → “Au plaisir de te lire”, “Au plaisir de te voir”, “Au plaisir de te revoir”. To the one who rarely sends letters or e-mails: “Au grand plaisir d'avoir un peu de tes nouvelles”! / "Au grand plaisir d'avoir un peu de nouvelles de ta part!"

3) I dislike the expression → “A plus” (and even less written “à +” / @ +). I know it became popular with e-mail writing, but sorry, to me, it doesn't mean anything.

4) "Bien des choses à tous” seems to show laziness and lack of imagination. I prefer: "Meilleurs souhaits à vous tous!"

5) “Je serai là pour vous” - > is a romantic and slightly old fashioned way to say: “Ne t'inquiète pas, tu peux toujours compter sur moi” / "Ne vous inquiétez pas, vous pouvez toujours compter sur moi".

6) When confused with all the expressions around “salutations”, I would stick to “Salutations” / “Meilleures salutations”. I'd keep “Salutations respectueuses” for the Headmistress, the boss of an organisation I get in touch with for the first time, and “Salutations distinguées” for the higher authorities! "Très cordiales salutations” -?- just as polite to say: “Salutations”, or, “Cordialement”.

7) The Italian “Ciao” (Tchao!) sounds really nice, but I am not very keen to use it in writing … What about "Bye"?

---> All the others expressions are fine and very useful, as long as used appropriately, respecting people and context.
I must admit I do send "bisous", and "bises", of course - but reducing them to "Biz" or "Bx" as some people do? No...
By the way -> To members of family, or good old friends, one can end with:
Je t'embrasse / Je vous embrasse bien fort / Bises affectueuses / Bien affectueusement.

I would always end a letter to my very dear French grandmother (1883-1978) with: "Je t'embrasse très affectueusement".

Mike Hardcastle

From the cat, 'Was that the clock striking midday? Time to amble over to the cafe and see what I can charm out of the customers.'

Super list of goodbyes. Most of my emails are to friends, so in French Amicalement, and in English Cheers. Rather boring I know but better than pondering.

Jean Marc

If the cat is like most cats, he is thinking, "You're all just simple creatures."

I usually sign off with Have a great day, so now I should just make it Bonne journee.

Bonne journee,
Jean Marc (l'autre)


I don't always use a sign off on emails (probably just a little too casual on email protocols). When I do it is bisous to friends in France, love to Mom, something silly like toodles or cheerio pip pip to good friends. The business email sign of is a thank you. The cat is thinking "does this furry ruff make me look fat?"


In English, the absolute best way to close an email is "Best," or "Cheers,". In Spanish, I prefer "Un saludo,". It's hard to find the perfect balance of friendliness and seriousness, especially in French. I have always found that they either sound way too friendly or way too distanced. But I suppose that maybe that is la culture française!

Eve Robillard

Kristen--Zee chatte pense a sa-meme "Pour quoi touts les portes francaise sont bleus?"
(And I am so very glad they are!) eve from madison wi

Jacqui McCargar

I usually sign off with a bientot or a la prochaine or gros bisous to friends in France (or Francophiles!)All of my friends know that I am addicted to France and are not suprised by the occasional utterance in French! Bon Chance, Kristin and Jean Marc!


thought bubble

" This is my best side. Please hurry up. I can't keep all of this fur standing up for very long. "


cat: "Let's see what human I can control today"

Ending letters in email has been excruciating for me! Being very much a 'people' person, I try to choose so carefully. I has been a little spot of angst at the end of many easily written letters.

Loved ones: xoxo, love, love you, God bless you
Customers: Blessings, or Thanks
Vendors: Sincerely (old school:/)

Helen Miller

The cat seems to be thinking -
"Don't even think of disturbing me."


Quelle jolie devanture!
I don't understand the reason for the percentage in the name, ... but it doesn't matter. 10, Rue du Petit Puits - un puits = a well - so, a very picturesque address too!
Kristin, this is couleur "lie-de-vin", (perhaps a bit dark) isn't it?

Speech bubble:
"Je suis Raminagrobis, le Prince des chats!"

Raminagrobis is a character in La Fontaine's Fables, (Le Chat, la Belette et le petit lapin) --->
... “un saint homme de chat, bien fourré, gros et gras,
arbitre expert sur tous les cas. »

Mona Shahgholi

The cat is saying:
"I wonder what they are going to feed me tonight!"

Julie Joachims

Well, for work, I end with 'Make Good Memories' since it ties into my tv show.
For my friends it varries all the time, usually just
or of you are REALLY in my good favor...xoxoxoxoxxo!!!!

Jules Greer





Of late my "guitter" displays a marked resemblance to the American economy :

... ploddingly, imperceptibly, inertly, laggardly, leadenly, listlessly, lethargically, ponderously, sluggishly, but lovingly yours,


Thanks for the list. I printed it out the last time you published it and I keep it in my desk drawer to end my emails differently each time!

Tres cordiales salutations,


When I was a child, my French penfriend (can't get used to "penpal"!) and I signed our letters -- remember them? -- "Je t'embrasse bien fort"; as an adult, I've used "Amitiés" and "Amicalement" and "Bisoux" depending on the recipient.

My current Italian amica di matita (lit. pencil friend) and I begin our e-mails "Mia cara [NAME]" and sign off "Un abbraccio" or "Abracci"(a hug/hugs) or "Non vedo l'ora d'avere notizie di te" (looking forward to hearing from you). Another friend signs hers "Cari saluti" (fond/affectionate greetings). I can't imagine myself ending an e-mail with "ciao" but I do begin them that way sometimes. (For those of you who don't know, "ciao" is both hello and goodbye.) I love the French spelling of ciao, by the way!

To some English and American friends I simply sign off with my name; to others I use "Love." My cousin, her daughter, and I sign off to each other with kisses "Love, Passantexx."


Kristin, in your case, your genuineness is your signature. I rarely read anything into signatures. With those I know well, I use 'Bye for now,' which implies future contact. I'm a dog-lover, but cats always jump up on me, and go to sleep. Obviously, she has just seen me. Ah-ha, there's Doug. I'll wait for this car to pass...


Oops, that was "Bisous"!


Oh dear, I seem to be taking over your comments box, but I just noticed the cat photo and wanted to add that I once spent two weeks in Provence, staying in a rented house in Vacqueyras. I remember the fountain dedicated to Raimbaut de Vacqueyras.

Bill Pratt

(in San Francisco)

Susan Cleaves

Kitty Cat.
Do I look fat in this outfit?


Marianne Rankin

How I end my letters depends on the person to whom I'm writing. I have an American friend to whom I always write in French, and most often sign off with "amities."

Le chat pense, "Le mot "miaou" est international!"

roz arington

You may slowly approach and pet me if you wish.


Endings I use, according to person and text
All the best
Bye / Bye for now
Love / Love & best wishes / Lots of love
xx ... xx (on each sign of my name)

Cordialement / Bien cordialement
(Avec) tous mes remerciements
Merci / Mille mercis / Un grand merci pour tout
Amicalement / Bien amicalement / Amitiés à tous
Bisous / Bisous à partager / Bisous à tous
Je t'embrasse / Bises affectueuses / Bien affectueusement

What you wrote before your list --> 'Because it's never easy to say goodbye' ..., reminded me of the Italian song, 'Con Te Partiro', famous in the late nineties. Just been listening to it!


Too late at this time to end with: Bonne journée!

Bonne soirée!
Bon week-end en famille,
Excellente fin de vacances, Kristin!
Amitiés de la part de nous tous.


Le chat, il pense,"I know if I pose here long enough, someone will take my picture."
All those farewell endings made me remember the one most often used by my mother:
'In haste...Mom' It's funny, but it implied that although there was much else to be done she was taking time to write a letter to me.
So to all of you readers and posters:
Bien des choses a tous, Jeane in AZ


When you said..."While "gros bisous" still sounds a little too intimate," it made me giggle. It is true.. anglos we have reserved boundaries. Although, after a glass of french wine...I am all about the gros


I just say,
Smiles, Cyndi


Most of the time I have to use a French goodbye is related to work. I end all French emails "cordialement". I used to use "salutations" but I noticed all the French people were using "cordialement" so I did the same so as not to appear "gauche". I admit this properly ending French writings is also a daunting task. With the whole "je vous prie d'agréer, Monsieur XXX, l'assurance de ma considération distinguée" I get all flustered.


THOUGHT BUBBLE #2: ( * * ) . . . !

--Cat almost conjured up a thought but, as is usual with cats, it evaporated before he could grasp it (which is why we named one of our cats after a cabbage)!

Fred Caswell

If you don't believe in guard cats, try opening this door!

Working on loving everyone, "Love and best wishes" is used unless there is a question of offending the recipient. When it is family or a special friend, "--always" is added. For my wife it is "I love you, Dear Nancy!" (or some other mushy statement).

louis bogue  Dunedin,fla.

you were expecting a pink door! in France???, thank you for another lesson, your terrific!!!!


In the office world, "Je vous prie d'agréer, Monsieur XXX, l'assurance de ma considération distinguée" has got a formal style and shows a perfect choice of words to end very traditionally an official business letter in French. Variation on the same theme and style: Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l'assurance de mes sentiments les meilleurs.
How to say the same thing, in a casually dry & polite French, to end a business e-mail? I'm not an expert but I think "Salutations distinguées" can do the job... Then, a bit less formal: "Salutations" will do. On a more casual line, and when you get to know the business partner well enough, "Cordialement" seems a very good ending...

Kristin's Word-of-the day is "QUITTER".
If you never had the chance to listen to the 1959 poignant song "NE ME QUITTE PAS", ( = 'Don't leave me') by Jacques Brel, or if you do remember that dramatic song and want to enjoy it once again, here is a link:
For the lyrics in French, and translation in English:


Le chat, il dit: "Ah, je suis le plus beau aujourdui que j'etait vie est bonne! Ou est ma dejuner?"

Goodbyes, (with some of my girlfriends of late) have been: Love 'ya, Mean it! a throw-back to eons ago in ye old high school days. A few of us started using it et je le trouve amusement. Also, avec ma mari (parce q'il aime beaucoups les vaches) j'ecrire: Yours, 'til the cows come home--en francais, UH..toujours, jusqu'a les vaches retourent--(guessing here).

None of which makes any sense, but what else is new!? A bientot, mes amis!


Omigosh, Newforest, was just listening to this on a CD I recently bought. Quel Passion! Neil Diamond sings a lovely rendition as well...heard him in Charlotte in December...oh-la-la, Neil...arretez ma coeur!


Thank you so much Newforest for the song link to "Ne Me Quitte Pas"...most enchanting on a balmy afternoon... I believe there are perhaps strains of the same song that Kitty is listening to and she is also saying *Purrrrrfect!!

Cheers everyone!


Thanks for the list. The first time my husband heard the man at the laundromat in Paris say "toute a l'heure" he heard toodeloo!! And that's how he continues to pronounce it. I'm an XOXO kind of gal for family and friends or occasionally "muchas smuchas" or "ciao for now." For others, I just sign my name or have been know to use "cordially" which, hmmm, sounds a bit old-fashioned.


I use Pa, which I think is from the Russian Paka, meaning So long

As for the cat:

Hope they do not use me again, next time they paint the wall.


Re: Jacques Brel's song -> "Ne me quitte pas" (1959).
The version given above was recorded in 1972 and is, I think, the best one.

This one is a very early performance (1960).
The English subtitles are nearly “mot à mot” (literal translation). You may still find it interesting (?). Compare with "free" translation given in the post at the top of the page.

Re: "Ne me quitte pas". This is a 1962 performance, with minimum accompaniment. No subtitle but quite easy to follow each single word...

Je vous souhaite un week-end ensoleillé.
Have a sunny weekend!

poppy fields

for my husband and girls...xxoo
for my close friends in france..grosses bises
and the americans get a.....take care :)


My first visit here. Enjoyed your post! Merci!


Given word of the day, I think the bubble could read:

le tchat


Fred Caswell

"Am I beautiful or what?"

Une contribution par mon epouse, Nancy


The cat is saying"Yes, you may walk on my street, but do not disturb me".
My e-mails usually end with only my name, which can be one of several depending on the era of my life the person is from. For family, always Love.


I'm the king.


I like

jusqu'à ce que j'aie le plaisir de vous revoir
(my French is very bad, so may be improper grammar and or punctuation)

It's a compliment and makes me feel as though I'm looking forward to the next meeting instead of focusing on goodbye

kinda the way I feel when I read french word-a-day -- when it ends, it only leaves me hopefully waiting for the next post.


Oui, c'est vrai, Renee. I return several times betweens posts, love this place. Has le Famille Espinasse returned from their holiday in the Alpes? What stories will be revealed? J'attends le prochain chapitre.


Thought bubble: "Enjoy the pose while you've got it, camera lady. Go on, snap away! As if you REALLY know how fortunate you are to have the opportunity to photograph me!"

A good sign-off that a former co-worker used on all e-mails is "All the best". It works for everyone and is open to translation without the risk of causing anyone offense. Any good ideas out there for a new twist for a French translation of this? "Mes meilleurs" just seems lacking.


Cat bubble:
Attack Cat on duty...Don't you even think about coming near MY door!


Hello Renee,
About: "jusqu'à ce que j'aie le plaisir de vous revoir"
-> at the end of an e-mail, "jusqu'à ce que j'aie" can be replaced by "Au"
---> "Au plaisir de vous revoir!"

Hello Leslie,
'All the best' can be translated by:
-> "Amitiés" / "Toutes mes amitiés"
If it means Good Luck:
-> "Bonne chance!"
-> "Bonne continuation!" (casual)
On New Year's day:
-> "Meilleurs voeux!" / "Tous mes (nos) meilleurs voeux!" / "Tous mes (nos) meilleurs souhaits pour une bonne et heureuse année"

Christine Dashper

Hi Krisitn, I love all the different expressions to end a letter, email etc. Thanks! I really like 'votre amie', but so many of them are great. I often end mine with 'big hugs' for people I know well or 'regards' and 'best wishes'.

The cat? I think is speech bubble would say:
"Definately not enough mice in this village..."

bien affecteuesement


Jules Greer


Jules Greer

Hi Kristi,

I am amazed at the wonderful response your "comments" are generating. I am absolutely hooked on the comments. I also
return here obsessivly over and over to keep up with all of the ideas your friends are sharing - this has opened up a door to great creativity regarding your blog. All of these wonderful minds coming together to
enrich each other - share little pieces of their personalities -

I look at each one of them as litttle flowers in your garden - Kristi you are truly in the right place at the right time of your life...I'm so happy to be a part of this spring-time explosion of color.




The cat thinks, "Hmm, wouldn't the humans make my royal door a bit more accessible?"


When in France, to my family I often sign off with Bisou. That is now what my 3 year old grand daughter calls me!!!!

Rickie Fain

Kristin............I love your e-zine!! Thank you!!

To my family and close friends I would part with the Irish thought.........."God bless and safe home"........

To sign off I always say, "'Til soon"

As for the cat, cute as it is,..........I think a bath and haircut might be nice,.........what do you think?

'Til soon,


Oooh, Look a mouse!! Should i chase it? Hmmm..... maybe not today.


How can I manage to learn French using click speak if that is already configured to read in English to learn it ? That is the question. I love Sidane...
France should have won then


I have a question: Is the phrase "gros bisous" too intimate to use. Does it indicates love or friendship??

bob ruan

Cat thought:

Damn tourists, they're ruining my plans to meet up with that jolie demoisselle!

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