Hot Tip: Choosing The Right German Goodbye

Bis bald, bis später, bis gleich, bis what again?
young man leaving his apartment and closing the door shut behind him german goodbye

As there would be in any language, there’s a different German goodbye for every situation. And unless you enjoy awkward social exchanges, you’ll probably want to get them straight in your mind sooner rather than later.

Obviously, there are a couple variations on the German goodbye that you’ll probably learn right away because they’re functionally versatile and will carry you through most conversations. These include Auf Wiedersehen (the standard, formal goodbye) and Tschüss! (the more casual version).

Babbel Live teacher Lisa says her students often get confused when it comes to knowing when to use farewells like bis bald, bis später and bis gleich, however, which all mean something akin to “see you later.”

To help her students tell these phrases apart, she explains the difference using increments of time:

  • gleich is less than an hour
  • später is more than one or two hours
  • bald is undefined, but it implies you are planning to see that person again

For more ways to say goodbye in German, keep reading here.

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Steph Koyfman

Steph is a senior content producer who has spent over five years writing about language and culture for Babbel. She grew up bilingually and had an early love affair with books, and, later, studied English literature and journalism in college. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.

Steph is a senior content producer who has spent over five years writing about language and culture for Babbel. She grew up bilingually and had an early love affair with books, and, later, studied English literature and journalism in college. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.