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The French word "Bonsoir" explained

Ready to learn everything you want to know about the basic French word "Bonsoir"? It includes a full guide of what it is and how to use it in everyday life with an audio example. But that's not all, we also added some useful stuff like dialogue example, slow pronunciation audio and more!

Translation in English

  • Translation : Good evening

  • Register : Neutral - Basic

How to pronounce it?



  • IPA : / bɔ̃swaʁ /

aesthetic french quote bonsoir

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What does bonsoir mean?


"Bonsoir" is the common way to say "Good evening" in French.

It's literally made of two parts:

And it shouldn't be confused with "Bonne soirée" which is used differently (example below...)

How to use

As you probably know, when you meet someone, the common way to say "Hello" in French is "Bonjour". But after a certain time of the day (around the sunset) you should use instead "Bonsoir" (Good evening).

But be careful, "Bonne soirée" isn't a synonym for "Bonsoir". It means "I wish you a good evening" and then you should use it when you are saying bye to someone in the evening.

Also, if it's very late or if the person mentioned that he/she is going to sleep, you can add "Bonne nuit" (Good night)


↓ Example in a story with French audio ↓

Finally, let's see an example in a parallel story with slow audio.

La question de papa

Dad's question

Les parents de Philippe ont décidé de l'inviter Emily et lui pour un dîner en famille.
Philippe's parents decided to invite Emily and him for a family dinner.
Emily avait déjà rencontré les parents de Philippe auparavant.
Emily had already met Philippe's parents before.
Et elle s'entendait aussi très bien avec la petite soeur de Philippe : Zoé.
And she also got along very well with Philippe's little sister: Zoé.
Zoé adorait passer du temps avec Emily...
Zoé loved spending time with Emily...
Mais même si Emily était déjà familière avec la famille de Philippe, elle était très nerveuse...
But even if Emily was already familiar with the family of Philippe, she was very nervous...
Ils ont acheté quelques desserts et sont partis chez les parents de Philippe.
They bought some desserts and went to Philippe's parents.


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