Skip to Content

Our site has affiliate links. This means that we make a commission when you purchase a product through links on our site. Learn more.

“Bonjour!” How The French Really Use This Greeting

“Bonjour!” How The French Really Use This Greeting

What does “Bonjour!” really mean?

The French word, bonjour (Pronunciation: bɔ̃ʒuʀ) has several definitions. Bonjour translates to “good morning” when used early in the day. Bonjour also translates to “hello” when used during the rest of the daytime until late afternoon. This post also explains bonjour vs. bonne journée as well as four expressions with “bonjour”.

Bonjour: Meaning, pronunciation and usage.

Bonjour pronunciation

The word “bonjour” is a combination of two words: bon which means good and jour which means day. The word has two syllables. “Bon” means good and is a combination of “b” plus the nasal “on” sound [ɔ̃].

“Jour” is pronounced with a soft -j plus ou, which sounds “oo” as in food and a French -r. The pronunciation symbols for jour are: [ʒuʀ].

Learn how to pronounce “bonjour” with this video:

Video source: frenchsounds

Bonjour vs. bonne journée

It is important to clarify the difference between “bonjour” and “bonne journée”.

While “bonjour” means hello and is used at the beginning of an encounter, “bonne journée” translates to “have a nice day” and is used at the end of an encounter.

bonne journée

Interestingly, in French-speaking Canada, bonjour can mean both “hello” and “have a nice day”.

French expressions with bonjour

The word “bonjour” has many usages and is used in many expressions.

1. Bonjour tout le monde!

“Bonjour tout le monde!” translates to “Hi everybody!”. For example, “Bonjour tout le monde! Comment allez-vous?” (Hi everybody! How are you?).

2. Passer le bonjour à quelqu’un

The expression “passer le bonjour à quelqu’un” translates to “to say hello to somebody”. For example, Passe le bonjour à Pierre de ma part” (Say hi to Pierre for me).

Eiffel Tower in Paris

3. Souhaiter le bonjour à quelqu’un

Similar to “passer le bonjour à quelqu’un”, the expression “souhaiter le bonjour à quelqu’un” means to “wish somebody hello”. For example, “Souhaite le bonjour à ta famille de ma part” (“Say hi to your family for me”).

4. Rebonjour!

The word “rebonjour” means “hello again” as a -re prefix is added to “bonjour”. Use “rebonjour” when seeing somebody again, usually during the same day. For example, “Rebonjour! Je suis là de nouveau!” (Hi again! I’m back!).

Become an expert in French greetings!
“Bonjour” is not the only game in town when it comes to French greetings. This page on our site covers 20 ways to say hello and this page covers 15 ways to say goodbye. This page provides a complete overview of French greetings and these pages closely examine the words salut (hi and by), ça va (how’s it going?) and au revoir (goodbye).

Related lessons:
Bonjour pronunciation [bɔ̃ʒuʀ]. Meaning: Common French greeting; 'Good morning' before noon; 'Hello' for remainder of the day.

Sharing is caring!

Affiliate disclosure: Below you will find affiliate links. If you purchase something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. To learn more please visit our full disclosure page. Merci!

Sign up to download your free trial of À Moi Paris a French course which I recommend to my personal students to help with pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. After that, upgrade for access to 77 hours of audio lessons.

Read our full review of À Moi Paris and find out why we love it so much!

Are you struggling with French verb conjugations? Then we highly recommend French Today's French Verb Drills course. Get over 28 hours of audio exercises to build reflexes and dramatically improve your French level and confidence.

Read our full review of French Verb Drills and find out why we recommend this course!

David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

See all posts by