What does au revoir mean?
In French “au revoir” (pronounced oh-ruh-vwahr) means goodbye, bye and farewell. It is the most formal way of saying good-bye. In this post we’ll closely examine the pronunciation of au revoir, salut vs. au revoir and look at some related expressions.
Au revoir pronunciation in French
Before we go any further let’s have a closer look at how to pronounce au revoir. The au is pronounced like “oh” as in “oh my gosh!”. Pronouncing the -re is optional. Sometimes it’s pronounced and sometimes it’s skipped over. The -voir is pronounce “vwahr”. Hence, the complete pronunciation is: “oh-ruh-vwhar” or “oh-vwhar”.
Allez, au revoir !
When saying “au revoir”, the French often precede it with the word “allez”. This comes from the verb “aller”, which means to go. This page on our site explores “aller” in detail. Thus, aller, au revoir can translate to both “Well, goodbye”, according to this page on reverso.net.
Allez, au revoir !
How to reply to au revoir
The best way to respond to “au revoir” is to simply reply “au revoir”. In formal situations you can reply with “au revoir madame” or “au revoir monsieur” (goodbye, ma’am or goodbye, sir).
Au revoir vs salut
The greeting word “salut” translate to both “hi!” and “bye!”. It is much less formal than “au revoir”. In more formal settings using au revoir would be much more appropriate. This page on our site covers “salut“ in detail.
Adieu also means goodbye in French. Au revoir means goodbye when it’s expected that the two people will see each other again. Adieu, however, means goodbye forever. The word adieu is most commonly used when somebody passes away. Adieu literally means “to God”, similar to adios in Spanish.
3 expressions with au revoir
In French, “au revoir” appears in a few expressions which we’ll observe below:
- Ce n’est qu’un au revoir Meaning: “It’s just a goodbye” and the French name of the song, Auld Lang Syne
- Au revoir, à la prochaine. Bye! See you next time!
- Au revoir, bonne journée. Bye! Have a nice day!
- Guide to French greetings
- How to say good morning in French
- How to say good night in French
- How to say thank you in French
- How to say welcome in French