“Salut!”: How To Use & Pronounce This Common French Greeting

The informal French greeting “Salut!” (pronounced sah-lu) has several meanings including hi, hello, bye, goodbye and cheers. The French strictly use salut with acquaintances and not strangers. In more formal situations the French use both bonjour and au revoir. This page covers the meaning and usages of salut in detail.

Salut pronunciation

To pronounce salut say: “sah-lu”. The -u is what I call the “pointed -u” like in the word tu (you familiar). The -t is completely silent. The French reading rules dictate that if a word ends in vowel plus consonant, the consonant is silent.

This page on Forvo offers several useful video clips of how to pronounce salut. YouTube French teacher, Julien, explains how to pronounce “salut” in this video:

Salut: Pronunciation [saly]. Meaning: Common French informal greeting; 'Hi!', 'Goodbye'!, 'Bye!', Cheers!'.

How to use “salut”

1. Using salut to say “hi!”

In informal situations, the French use salut as an informal greeting to say “hi!”.

  • Salut, mon ami! Ça va? Hello my friend! How’s it going?
  • Salut, les gars! Je m’appelle David. Hi guys! My name is David.

2. Using salut to say “bye!”

Similarly, the French use salut as in informal way of saying “bye!”

  • Salut tout le monde! Je m’en vais maintenant! Bye everybody! I’m leaving now.
  • Salut! À la prochaine! Bye! See you next time!

3. More usages of salut

Salut has a few more uses. As a verb, “saluer” means to greet.

  • Je salue les invités quand ils arrivent. I greet the guests when they arrive.

As a noun “un salut” means a wave or nod.

  • Je lui fais un salut de main. I give him a wave of the hand.

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