Good night in French is “bonne nuit” (pronounced bɔn nɥi or ‘bun nwee’). You can also say, “Dors bien” (sleep well, familiar), “Dormez bien” (sleep well, formal), “Fais de beaux rêves” (sweet dreams), and “Va au lit!” (Go to bed!). Learn how to pronounce all of these expressions with the audio below!
Ways to say good night in French
In addition to saying “bonne nuit” before going to sleep, it’s nice to wish somebody sweet dreams.
In French, the phrase for sweet dreams is: “Fais de beaux rêves” (informal, said to a friend or a young person) or “Faites de beaux rêves (formal, said to a stranger or somebody older).
This expression literally means, “make beautiful dreams”.
Fais de beaux reves!
In French, the verb “dormir” means to sleep. Hence, to say “sleep well” to somebody you know, say, “Dors bien”. If you don’t know the person very well use the polite form: “Dormez bien”.
Dors bien! / Dormez bien!
Go to bed!
In French, there are two ways to say to go to bed: “aller au lit” (literally to go to the bed) and “se coucher” (reflexive verb).
Hence to tell somebody, “Go to bed!”, to somebody you know you can say:
- Va au lit. Go to bed.
- Couche-toi! Go to bed.
Va au lit!
Go to bed!
If you’re speaking to somebody you don’t know or somebody older you can say:
- Allez au lit. Go to bed.
- Couchez-vous. Go to bed.
There are a few ways to say, “it’s bedtime”. The first say is: “Il est heure du coucher!” (literally “it is the hour to do to bed”. You can also say, “Il est heure d’aller se coucher!“, meaning “It’s the hour to go to go to bed”.
Bonne nuit vs. bonsoir
It’s very important to know when to use bonne nuit and when to use bonsoir.
Bonne nuit vs bonne soirée
It is easy to confuse bonne nuit with “bonne soirée”. The term “soirée“ refers to the course of the evening.
Hence, “Bonne soiréee” translates to “Have a nice evening”. You would use this expression when there are still more hours remaining in the evening before somebody turns in for the night.
Have a nice evening!
How to say good night to kids
French has a cute way of saying good night for kids.
In French, “faire dodo” means “faire dormir” (literally to make sleep) or “to go night-night” in English.
Thus, “Va faire dodo” is a cute way of saying “go beddy-bye”.
Va faire dodo!
Common mistake: Don’t say “bon nuit”
“Bon nuit” is incorrect. This is a common mistake.
Bon is the masculine form of good. However, since the word “nuit” is feminine (la nuit), you must put “bon” in the feminine form of “bonne”. Hence, “bonne nuit”.
Counting sheep in French
In English, the expression “to count sheep” refers to doing mental exercises to try to fall asleep. In French, “compter les moutons” means to count sheep.
We hope that this lesson on saying goodnight in French has helped. The following table summarizes this lesson.
|Bonne nuit!||Good night!||The most common ways of saying good night in French. Note that it's NOT "bon nuit".|
|Bonne soirée!||Have a good evening!||Said when parting ways and the evening isn't over yet.|
|Dors bien!||Sleep well!||Sleep well in the familiar form. In the formal form, say "Dormez bien!".|
|Fais de beaux rêves!||Sweet dreams!||Nice expression to include with "bonne nuit". The literal translation is "Make some beautiful dreams!"|
- Good morning in French
- Hello in French
- Goodbye in French
- Guide to French greetings
- How to use bonjour
- How to use au revoir
- How to use salut