Here are some of the best ways to say goodbye in Greek. Believe me, speaking Greek will be quick and easy if you follow this easy-to-learn method.
This Greek lesson has been reviewed and improved with the assistance of George, a fluent Greek speaker born and raised in Athens, Greece.
So you can feel confident that the information contained in this Greek lesson is of good quality.
Learning how to say Goodbye in Greek
The key to learning Greek in this lesson is to say the words in blue and red as they appear and to say the words out loud ten times.
By doing this, it will be much easier to remember all of the top ways to say farewell and goodbye in Greek.
There are two versions with slightly different spelling, which will help you to pronounce the words correctly. One version is shown in blue and the other in red.
Just try your best to say the words, and don’t stress too much about getting the pronunciation perfect.
You can always refine how you say things once you’re in Greece and hear how the local Greeks say things.
If you want more background to these Greek lessons, refer to the introduction in Greek Lesson 1 – Greetings.
Remember, all you need to do to learn here is say the Greek words (in the blue and red colors) out loud when you see them.
That’s pretty much all you need to do if you want to learn the top ways of saying goodbye in Greek.
There’s also another section explaining even more ways of saying goodbye.
You may want to learn some of these as well. It all depends on what you prefer to say when you or someone else is leaving.
Top 10 Ways to Say Goodbye in Greek
Good luck on your journey to learning Greek!
Explanation of when to use Ya as a goodbye:
It’s the easiest way to say goodbye in Greek. It means both “bye” and “see you.”
It is often said with a hand wave from side to side, with your fingers relatively close together. Just like you would do in the United States.
If you want to say “Bye” casually and less formally, you say “Ya.”
This is a common way to say bye to friends and family.
Ya is also used as a greeting, as explained in Greek Lesson 1 – Greetings.
Bye, have a nice day
Explanation of when to use YAH, kali-mera as a goodbye:
This is a common way of saying bye in Greek if it is before 12 pm.
Kali-Mera by itself means good morning (good day). It’s another greeting which is explained in Greek Lesson 1 – Greetings.
When you combine it with Ya and say, “Ya, kalimera,” it means bye, have a nice day.
Explanation of when to use YAH-sou as a goodbye:
Ya-sou is used a lot between friends and people you know very well.
This is a more friendly and polite way of saying goodbye compared to just saying Ya.
It implies familiarity. The sou is for just one of you!
You can also follow it by the name of the person. Ya-sou George (Goodbye George).
(formal / more than one person)
Explanation of when to use YAH-sas as a goodbye:
A goodbye for more than one person.
It is also a more formal and polite way to say goodbye to a person who is often much older than you.
If you’re leaving a group of people, you would say, YAH-sas.
It’s a simple way to say goodbye when leaving a shop or restaurant.
A goodbye for an older boss you highly respect, someone of higher status than you, or someone significantly older than you.
Don’t get confused: use “Sas” when you want to be formal (older people, formal business meeting, etc.), and keep “sou” when talking to friends or people you know.
Explanation of when to use Ta le-meh as a farewell:
Ta le-meh (See you) – literally means: talk to you
You can also add another word or two when saying Ta leme, such as:
- Ta le-meh syd-o-ma – See you soon
- Ta le-meh argotera – See you later / Catch you later / Talk to you later
- Ta le-meh arvro – See you tomorrow
- Ta le-meh to sav-vato-kyriako – See you on the weekend
- Ta le-meh (on a certain day of the week) – Not explained here.
Note: Ta le-meh by itself is a common way to say goodbye. You don’t need to say see you later. You can also say, Ya, ta leme (Bye, see you).
Good continuing (Have a nice rest of a day)
Explanation of when to use Kali syn-eh-heia as a farewell:
There’s NO equivalent in English for this. However, it can be translated as Good continuing.
Apparently, Greeks like to hear this.
A couple of examples: You can say it when you finish your shift at work, and another work colleague still has work to do. Or you’re leaving the office, and someone is staying because they have work to do.
Think of it like this. You can use this whenever someone is left behind, and they still have work to do.
If so, you may want to say Kali syn-eh-heia. This will make the other person feel a bit better.
Bye, have a nice evening
Ya, kalo vra-thi
Ya, kalo vra-thi
Ya, kalo vra-thi
Ya, kalo vra-thi
Ya, kalo vra-thi
Ya, kalo vra-thee
Ya, kalo vra-thee
Ya, kalo vra-thee
Ya, kalo vra-thee
Ya, kalo vra-thee
Explanation of when to use Ya, kalo vra-thi as a goodbye:
If the sun has set, you can use this expression to say, “Bye, have a nice evening.”
It’s a way of saying bye in the evening or at night, but only when it’s still a bit too early to go to bed.
Kalo vrathi can be used as a greeting and can also be said when LEAVING a place at NIGHT.
Important Note: Greeks never use the greeting Kali spera (Good evening) as a farewell when leaving.
Explanation of when to use Kali-neekta:
Use it when it’s time to return home for the night or if you’re going to bed soon, or you assume the other person will.
It can be used when walking past hotel reception on the way to your room at the end of a night out.
Kali-neekta is closer to the way Greeks say it, but for “visual” reasons, it is mostly written as Kalinihta. But it definitely has a “k” sound to it.
Goodbye / Farewell
Explanation of when to use Adio as a goodbye:
Adio is pretty common. It is like the “Adieu” in French.
Some Greeks use Adio as a farewell only if they’re not going to see the person for a very long time (for months, a year, or even longer), or if the person doesn’t know whether they’ll be seeing the other person again.
But it is still an everyday goodbye even when you know that you’ll be seeing the same person again in a few days.
Adio sounds a bit more formal than ya or ta leme, but there’s nothing wrong with using it as a goodbye.
It might sound a bit more poetic in writing (again, it depends on the occasion).
It’s not as easy going as ya or ta leme.
Even so, George met his friend and, at goodbye, just said: “Adio” (they also use the Italian “Ciao” often).
He was still planning to see his friend the following week.
So you don’t have to stress about saying Adio as a goodbye only when you won’t be seeing the other person for a very long time. Adio is definitely used as an everyday goodbye.
Adio might sound a bit more suitable occasionally, but there’s no real rule in daily life. Sure, if you catch yourself in a Titanic moment saying goodbye to your lover forever, you won’t go for “see you around,” because it won’t happen; you’ll probably say “Adio,” but anyway, it doesn’t matter; then…
Italian Goodbye (Ciao)
Explanation of when to use Chiao:
This may be a bit of a surprise, but the classic Italian “Ciao” is another way of saying goodbye to someone in Greece.
In Italian, it is used for both “hello” and “goodbye.” Greeks mainly use it to say Goodbye.
The English spelling for this Italian word is Ciao. But you pronounce it with a “ch” sound.
This is quite a popular way of saying goodbye, and many Greeks use it. It’s a cool way of saying goodbye, so you may want to use it occasionally.
More Greek Goodbye Expressions
Sto kalo – So long, farewell. If someone is leaving and you’re staying behind.
Ya-hara – So long, cheers. It can also be used as a greeting.
Ya, kalo apor-yev-ma – Bye, have a good afternoon. For instance, you may want to say this if the time is 4 pm.
Important Note: Greeks never use Kali-spera (Good evening) as a farewell when leaving, as previously mentioned.
Tha ta pou-meh – I’ll see you soon. Used when you know the person and think that you’ll see them soon. Tha ta pou-me has the same meaning as Ta leme. “Tha ta poume” is another way to say, “See you soon.” It is translated as we will talk. It’s a casual farewell for friends.
Ta pa-meh – See you. Used by young people.
Ta leme syd-o-ma – See you soon
Ta le-meh argotera – See you later / Catch you later / Talk to you later. Ta leme argotera is used more so if you will meet someone again later during the day.
Ta le-meh arvrio – “See you tomorrow” or “talk to you tomorrow.”
Kali-sou-mera – Have a great day. If you buy something, the person behind the counter may say this to you.
Kalo-sav-vato-kyri-ako – Have a great weekend.
Na pro-seh-hiss – Take care of yourself. One of the most intimate ways to say goodbye. Only used between family members and very close friends who have very close bonds.
Ad-e ya! – Bye-bye!
Apo-hyair-et-is-mos – Farewell
Mechri tin Eponemi fora – Until next time
Eis to epanidein – Until we meet again (See you later). It can be used in shops if you think you will be returning.
Hyair-ret-eh – A greeting that can also be used as goodbye in more formal situations. For instance, when an interview with a politician has come to an end.
Less common ways to say Goodbye in Greek
Ya, kali an-DA-mo-see – Bye, Until we meet again
Harika pou-se-eitha – It was good to see you (Good seeing you). Used if you walk down the street and see a friend or someone you know who you haven’t seen for ages. When you leave after talking, you may want to say, “good to see you after all this time.”
Kalo Ximeroma – If it is extremely late and the sun will be rising soon, then some Greeks may say, “have a nice sunrise.” It’s rather odd to think of it in English, but indeed it stands for something like “have a good sunrise/dawn”.
Filakia! – Kisses! Used between couples and close friends (most likely said by a woman).
Kalo thromo – Have a safe trip.
Popular Ways to say Goodbye in Greek Recap
Ya – Bye (informal) – γειά
Ya, kalimera – Bye, have a nice day – γειά, Καλημέρα
Yah-sou – Goodbye (to one person you know) – γειά σου
Yah-sas – Goodbye (formal/stranger/more than one person) – γειά σας
Ta le-me – See you – Τα λέμε
Kali syn-eh-heia – Good continuing – Καλη συνέχεια
Ya, kalo vra-thi – Bye, have a nice evening – γειά, Καλό βράδυ
Kali neekta – Goodnight – Καληνύχτα
Adio – Goodbye/Farewell – Αντίο
Chiao – Goodbye
Picking a Goodbye in Greek – Greek Language Tips
Here are a few situations that may help you better understand when to use certain goodbyes.
- After checking out of a hotel in Athens, you say bye to the hotel staff member behind the counter – Ya or Adio. If it’s some 5-star luxurious hotel, you can still go with Ya or Ya-sas.
- A plumber has fixed something for you and is about to leave. You thank him, and then you say – Efharisto poly, ya-sas (if he’s older) – Thank you very much, bye. Or you can say ya-sou or just ya if he’s your age.
- You leave the dentist’s office and say bye to the receptionist working there – Ya-sou or just Ya if the person is your age. Ya-sas (if the person is older). Stick with the age rule in general for sou or sas.
- You say bye to your boss Apollo after finishing work (mid-week), and you’re about to go home – Ya, ta leme avrio (Bye, see you tomorrow)
- Imagine you are going to ask for a better salary. You talk to the boss, and he says he will consider it. When leaving the room, you can say – Efharisto poli, ya-sas (thank you very much, bye). You can say ya-sas to the boss for sure, especially if he wants to keep some distance. It’s only a matter of hierarchy/company protocol and age. For example, if the protocol says that whoever holds a higher position than you has to be greeted formally. Also, used for somebody much older than you. If you work in a cafe, “Ya” or “Ya sou” as a goodbye is fine.
- You say bye to a work colleague – Ya. Among colleagues, it is very rare to say ya-sas unless you respect someone very much (and he’s usually much older).
- You say bye to the person interviewing you at a job interview – Efharisto poli (thank you very much), ya-sas. You use “sas” because it’s more formal.
- You say bye to two or three people who have interviewed you – Here’s definitely ya-sas (because there are 2-3 people).
- You say bye to a taxi driver – Ya.
- Your short 1-day tour at an ancient Greek site is finished. Finally, you say bye to your tour guide – Ya or ya-sas. It depends on the person’s age.
- You say bye to a work colleague – Ya or ya-sou.
- Someone calls you on the phone to sell you something. You tell them you’re not interested. If the salesperson says bye, it will most likely be – Efharisto (Thank you), ya-sas.
- You’re out at a club at night with some friends, and you see some people you know (though not very well). You talk to them and later on when you’re about to go somewhere else, your bye could be – Ta leme.
Note: On any of the above occasions, you can easily go for Adio. It might sound a bit more odd or distant, but no one will wonder why you said Adio. If you really want to stick to the rules (no real reason why), then you indeed can say Adio if it’s a farewell to someone you won’t see for a long time. Try to keep more in mind the age of the other person or his work position to decide for “sou” or “sas.”
Since most of the above cases included people that you probably don’t know very well, using Adio sounds a tad distant and, therefore, more official. However, if you could build some sort of easy-going mood while interacting with any of these guys, then saying Ya or Ya-sas is also acceptable. However, if everything started formally and ended formally too, Adio sounds more suitable. Ta leme can be used at the club because it’s a more easy-going environment.
How to say Goodbye in Greek to friends and family
- You say goodbye to your friend Aphrodite after having a coffee with her at a cafe – Ya, harika pou se eida (Bye, it was a pleasure seeing you)
- You’re having lunch with a group of friends, and you’re the first one to leave. You say – Ta leme paidia (paidia is pronounced peh-thee-a) – See you guys. Literally – See you kids, referring to adults speaking to other adults. Paidia means “kids” or “kiddos.” It is used especially between friends, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a group of guys or girls or mixed, it’s very common. The other thing you could say is just “Ta leme.”
- A guy’s girlfriend, Artemis, is about to leave and go home for the night. His bye could be – Kalinihkta moro mou (Goodnight babe). The word Moro means babe in Greek. Note: When “mou” is added to the end of any sentence, it personalizes it to “my,” which is a compliment.
- American Greeks visit their relatives in Greece while on vacation. When leaving, a few of the relatives are standing outside the door. The goodbye could be – Ya, ta leme sintoma (bye, (hope to) see you soon.) Or also “Kalo taxidi” (have a good journey).
- You say bye to your Greek friend on the phone – Ya, ta leme.
- You finish football training and say bye to a group of guys/friends on your team – Ya.
- A guy leaves for work in the morning and says bye to his wife. He could say – Ya, ta leme argotera (Bye, see you later)
- A mother or father drops off their child at school. A common bye could be – Ya, ta leme spiti (Bye, see you at home)
- A Greek mother says goodbye to her daughter, Eleni, who will be studying in England and won’t be returning to Greece for at least 6 months – Ya kai na prosechis (Bye and take care)
- You drop off a family member who is going on a trip at the airport. Your bye could be – Kalo taxidi (Have a good journey)
How to say Bye in Greek – Lesson Conclusion
Top Tip: To be honest, you can use just 2-3 of them in daily life (Ya, or Ta leme, or Adio).
Hopefully, this Greek lesson has made it easier for you to understand how to say Goodbye in Greek.
If you’re still not that confident in choosing the best ways to say goodbye in Greek, then keep your ears open when traveling around Greece.
Pay close attention to how other Greek people say goodbye in cafes, shops, and on the street.
It won’t take too long after that to choose your own preferred ways of saying goodbye in Greek.
Another Tip: You can also say something like Yaaaa (with a very, very long “a”) if you want to sound more cool or very easy-going. Definitely not to strangers, but to your friends. One example: You spend a night in a big house with 5-6 friends, and you are the last one to wake up in the morning. Feeling lazy or still sleepy or simply because you don’t have anything more to say, you can go with a long “Yaaaaa.” I’m not sure if George is making this up for a bit of fun, but it seems plausible. 🙂
One final piece of advice that I think is worth sharing on ways to say goodbye in Greek is this nugget of wisdom.
At the end of this lesson I sent an email to George in part telling him that he had given me the confidence now to actually speak a tiny bit of Greek. I also told him that I thought confidence was the key.
George responded in part: John! Confidence is the key for sure. Whatever comes automatically to your mind when you speak English, keep it automatic in Greek too. Nothing can wrong with Ya or Ya sou or Adio or Ta leme. The differences in daily chats are really small. Glad I could help 🙂
Key Greek words/phrases/sentences taught in LESSON 2: 7
I won’t include the first three goodbyes because these words were already taught as greetings in lesson 1.
The same words taught in this lesson included: Ya (Bye), Ya-sou (Goodbye to one person), and Ya-sas (Bye-formal).
The new keywords from lesson 2 include: Ya, kalimera (Bye, have a nice day), Ta le-me (See you), Kali syn-eh-heia (Good continuing),
Ya, kalo vra-thi (Bye, have a nice evening),
Kali-neekta (Goodnight), Adio (Goodbye/Farewell), Chiao (Goodbye)
Total number of key Greek words/phrases/sentences from all lessons so far: 15
Huge thanks to:
George from Letters to Barbara for reviewing and providing major contributions to improve this Greek lesson.
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