How to Say Goodbye in Chinese

Posted by Lilian Li on Sept 23, 2015

how to say goodbye in chinese

1. 再见 (zàijiàn): See you again

This is the most frequently used goodbye in Chinese. It's what you learn on your first day of Chinese class, and you can't go wrong with it. 再 (zài) means again. 见 (jiàn) means to see someone. So in literal terms, it doesn't actually mean "goodbye." It means "See you again."

2. 拜拜! (bàibai): Bye bye!

This is especially common in China nowadays – it is borrowed from English and pronounced exactly the same.

3. 明天见 (míngtiānjiàn): See you tomorrow

This is a spin on 再见 (zàijiàn). Instead of 再 (zài), we have 明天 (míngtiān), which means "tomorrow." So this means "see you tomorrow."
In contrast to 再见 (zàijiàn), don't use this unless if you actually expect to see them tomorrow. Otherwise they'll be confused.

4. 我得走了 (wǒděizǒu le): I've got to go

Now you're being really thoughtful. This one, which is a mouthful, literally means "I have no choice but to say goodbye." 我 (wǒ) means "I." 得 (děi) means "to have no choice but to do something." 走 (zǒu) means "to go or to leave." 了 (le) expresses that something has changed (mainly that you didn't have to go before, but now you do).
This one is a very nice thing to say, but it doesn't necessarily sound polite or formal. It's kind of like when you tell your friends – "listen guys, I'd really love to stay but I just have to go."

5. 失陪了 (shīpéi le): Sorry for leaving (very polite)

This one is the most formal. 失 (shī) means "to fail" to or "to lose." 陪 (péi) means "to accompany."
You could use this with your friends, but it could feel like you're trying to use it humorously, because it is very polite.

Hope that this post on "goodbye" in Chinese can help you leave a good impression with your friends.

Still have some questions about it? The short video below will help you learn how to say byebye in Chinese easier and vividly.

About The Author

Lilian Li

Lilian Li has a master's degree in linguistics and didactics from Rennes University in France. An expert in linguistics and educational psychology, she has taught Chinese as a foreign language for several years, primarily in France.

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