Bonjour Meaning & Pronunciation

What does “Bonjour!” mean?

The French word, “bonjour” has several definitions. Bonjour translates to “good morning” when used early in the day. Bonjour translates to “hello” when used during the rest of the daytime until late afternoon.

Bonjour is the formal way of saying hello. The informal salut (hi!) should not be used in formal situations.

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

Usages and French expressions with bonjour

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

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.

In Canada, however, “bonjour” can be used both at the beginning of a conversation to mean “hello” and and the end of a conversation to mean “have a nice day”.

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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?).

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).

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”).

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!”).

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