Draguer: At what age are you "lucky" to be hit on (or even noticed at all)?
Wonderful phrase "Comme si de rien n'etait" + a Mother's lesson on giving

Quitter + Beyond bye-bye: Good ideas for ending a letter, an email, or a visit with a friend

Passion for provence
Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie tells the tale of Americans Gayle and Ralph falling for France on their Mediterranean honeymoon and finally making it home—over two decades later. Part love story, part travel tale, part can-do, this humorous, spirited memoir will have you packing your bags for Provence for a sweet sojourn or possibly a longer stay. Recently, the book was featured on Chroniques Méditerranéenes, a French travel TV show about St. Rémy de Provence—the charming Provençal village where Gayle and her husband live. Order the ebook or the paperback. Worldwide distribution via Amazon.


1. to leave, to quit, to exit
2. to give up, vacate, forsake, abandon

SOUND FILE: Hear Jean-Marc read the following sentence in French

Il faut se quitter souvent pour s'aimer toujours.
We must leave each other often in order to love each other forever.

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse

I am fascinated with farewells (of the e-mail kind) when I'm not downright fussing over how to end my own courriels. Signing off after even the briefest note is cause for over-reflection and I sometimes stare for minutes at the blank screen before relying on the same old standby:


While bisous still sounds a little too intimate, I wonder if tchao--something I love the sound and French spelling of--isn't a bit hip or sort of pretentious sounding (tchao darling)? Oh well, I never know, but I am game to try all of the farewells noted below. I hope you will too! Note: many of these goodbyes can also be used when saying goodbye in person (this past weekend, in the Alps, friends used tchao! tchao! (bye bye) when waving goodbye).


à bientôt = (see) you soon
à très bientôt = (see) you real soon
adieu = goodbye (forever)
affectueusement = affectionately (love)
à la prochaine = until next time
à tout à l'heure = toodeloo
amicalement = (literally: "in a friendly way") yours, best wishes, regards
amitiés = (amitié = friendship) yours, best wishes, regards
amitiés sincères = sincere regards
à plus (or "à+" or "@+") = later
au plaisir de se revoir = with the pleasure of seeing each other again
au revoir = goodbye
avec toute mon amitié = with all my friendship

bien à toi
= yours, kind regards
bien à vous = yours, kind regards
bien affectueusement = yours affectionately
bien amicalement = best wishes
bien amicalement à vous = best wishes to you
bien cordialement = warmly
bien des choses à tous = best to all
bien/très respectueusement = with much respect

= kisses
bisous à tous = kisses to all
bonne continuation = keep up the good work
bonne journée = have a nice day
bonne soirée = enjoy your evening
bons baisers = big kisses
cordialement = cordially
bien cordialement = warm regards
d'un (d'une) ami(e) = from a friend
encore merci = thanks again
grosse bise = big kiss
gros bisous = big kisses

je serai toujours là pour vous = I'll always be there for you
je t'embrasse (je vous embrasse) = big kiss, with love
je t'embrasse très fort = great big kiss, with lots of love
meilleures salutations = best regards
meilleurs sentiments = best wishes
merci = thanks
mes amitiés = my best wishes, my best regards
mes salutations respectueuses = yours faithfully
mille baisers = a thousand kisses
plein de baisers = lots of kisses
salut = bye
salutations = salutations
salutations distinguées = best regards
sincères salutations = sincere regards

(synonyms for salutations are: good wishes, yours faithfully, I look forward to your reply...)

tchao = ciao, bye, cheers
tchao, tchao = bye bye
tendresse = fondly
tiens bon (tenez bon) = take care, hang in there
ton ami(e) = your friend
toute mon amitié = very best wishes
très cordiales salutations = warm salutations
votre ami(e) = your friend

And for those very formal sign-offs (job interviews, etc), check out this article in French: 51 formules de politesse pour vos emails, lettres et lettres de motivation

Voilà. Maintenant vous savez tout (now you know everything)! Please tell me how you end your French emails, letters, or visits, in the comments below.


Kristi and bea le white serre chevalier
Postcard from the Alps. With my friend, Béa, right. A bientôt and bisous--so long until the next post. And many thanks for reading and sharing this French word journal with someone who might enjoy learning about France, its culture and its language. 

EDIT ME: If you see une faute de frappe (a typo) in French or in English, I would greatly appreciate it if you would point it out in the comments or via email. Merci beaucoup!

Expressions having to do with today's word quitter
ne quittez pas = hold the line, hold on (when telephoning)
quitter le deuil = to come out of mourning
quitter la partie = to give up, to throw in the towel
quitter les lieux = to vacate the premises
ne pas quitter (lâcher) quelqu'un d'une semelle = to not let somebody out of your sight

Quitter/verb conjugation: je quitte, tu quittes, il/elle quitte, nous quittons, vous quittez, ils/elles quittent; past participle: quitté

Almond blossoms
Tchao. Tchao. I leave you with a bouquet of almond branches which are blooming throughout Provence, just as they were at our vineyard, several years ago. Photo taken at Mas des Brun.

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Hi Kristi,
I still love à tout à l'heure! I just love to say it! My friend Grace ends her emails with "Hugs" which I love too!


Bonjour, Kristi,
Your long list of farewells triggered a memory of a popular song from my youth called, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” with lyrics like, “hop on the bus, Gus”, etc. I like the French farewells
much, much better, however, the final photo of an almond blossom seems like the absolute best way to part with friends because it calls to mind the flowering of friendships. Amitiés, Joanne

Kristin Espinasse

Agreed! *Hugs* is a warm and comforting ending. 

Nancy Stilwagen

I noticed your phrase, "to not let somebody out of your site." Now, it COULD be correct if you had kidnapped them, site being a physical location. On the other hand, sight may also be appropos, if you can't bear to see them leave!

Very enjoyable post! Thanks, Kristi!

Meg Tipper

What a fun post! Thanks Kristi.
My mind went in a different curious direction, reflecting on the English expression "to come out" when referring to one's sexuality as coming out of the closet. What is the equivalent expression in French?

Maggie Grace

I'm sure whatever you choose it's chosen with a lot of care and love. I usually sign off with "Warmly" or if it's someone I know super well I use "Hugs" and sometimes it's just "Maggie" and then I draw a little heart next to it. I rarely have use for business correspondence, but if I do then I just use the standard "Sincerely."



My French "daughter" always ends her emails and snail mail with "gros bisous," which warms my heart, because I know she means it. But I, too, love all the possibilities of the French words of departure. Then there are the words of greeting. You could cover that next, Kristin, The best one I know of is wordless ~ faces which light up at another's arrival.


I guess 'abientot' is what I was taught in French class years ago. 'Tchao' reminds me so much of a German greeting my daughter taught me, we use it everywhere when I visit her, 'Tschuss'. It's the same meaning, bye, or bye bye. Informal but friendly.


ne pas quitter d'une semelle= to not let somebody out of your sight (not site)! Ooops

Jerry Wood

I have always preferred à la prochaine. To me it sounds so friendly but not too intimate.


Our dear Kristi,
Absolutely LOVE today's post filled with such wonderful vocabulary!!!
Seeing "ne quittez pas" again reminds me of when we lived in Paris;the phone inevitably turned into my nenesis and I would end up speaking in a most spirited fashion (half yelling is more like it!) "si vous plait! Ne quittez pas!!"(usually to no avail!)Still fills me with laughter!
Thank you!!
Must also tell you how much I enjoyed the latest chapter of Lost Gardens.
Your description of packing up and saying good bye to your home just really tugged my heart strings.All of ours,dear Kristi, who have walked in your(moving!!) shoes.
Natalia xo


Yes, I always end mine with Abraazos,(Hugs)
which is the norm here in Boquete,Panama.


Whoops. Abrazos

Irmã Lyman

Same spelling in Portguese

Janine Cortell

I often use warm regards for those who are not close friends. To my very close friends in France I say Je t'embrasse très fort. To you Kristi I will end with

Chris Allin

When we lived in Germany, stchüss was my family’s favorite way to say good bye!

Devra Long

Depending on who I am writing to;
Baci baci!

Sarah LaBelle

Une semelle, is that a fish, a sole? It is an idiomatic phrase then, ne pas quitter d'une semelle.


to not let somebody out of your site -- isn't the expression "not to let somebody out of your SIGHT"?


How about, "Que Dieu te bénisse" ? Heaven knows, we live in a world where some extra blessings would do anyone good!!
God bless!! 🙏😇


I agree with Theresa. Et “Que le Bon Dieu te bénisse,” aussi! - Janet

Diane Heinecke

Your challenges in life, big and small, reflect our own. I think that's why so many readers view you as a loving sister. I'm in a quandary as to how to end correspondence in both languages when it's someone who is not particularly close. In English I like "All the best." And now I've increased my French repertoire, thanks to you. Lots of choices. Thank you so much, Kristi. Hugs!


A la prochaine! - Lynda Laun

Kristin Espinasse

Joanne, What a lovely thought about the almond blossoms. Merci! P.S. Mom and I use a refrain from that very song to motivate ourselves to get outside and see the city: Just get on the bus, Gus! (Now I see the word is *hop* :-)

Kristin Espinasse

Ha ha, Nancy! No prisoners here so I'd better change it to "sight". Thank you!

Kristin Espinasse

Thank you, Meg! And, good question. Does anyone reading this know the answer?

Kristin Espinasse

Maggie, I love it when correspondants use "warmly." Always feel so cared for!

Kristin Espinasse

Susie, Yes! Faces that light up = the best greeting! P.S. I will gladly write a post about greetings. I think there is one somewhere in the archives that I could spruce up, just as today's post was dusted off.

Kristin Espinasse

Merci! All fixed now.

Kristin Espinasse

Natalia, I still find it challenging to talk in French on the phone. Then again, I'm not much of a phone person in English, either :-)

I really appreciate your comments here about our book. I hope your feedback will interest others who have not yet begun to read The Lost Gardens. Jean-Marc's next chapter really sets the stage for PART Two of our memoir... I will be posting it before the end of the month.


Kristin Espinasse

Janine, It is always heartening to see "Je t'embrasse très fort." Feels like a giant hug!

Kristin Espinasse

Hi Sarah, interesting play on words. Semelle (sole) in this instance means "shoe"...I think... on second thought I don't know.

Kristin Espinasse

Merci, Dana. Got it!

Kristin Espinasse

Theresa, I vote for this one!

Kristin Espinasse

By the way, here are some email endings and sign-offs I've received from a fellow church member:

"Que notre Seigneur te bénisse"
"avec la grâce de Dieu"
"Que notre Dieu Tout-Puissant te bénisse par Sa grâce, ma soeur"
"Que notre Seigneur prenne bien soin de toi"

Kristin Espinasse

Janet, Your comment inspired me to share a few more end phrases. See my note to Theresa, and thanks.

Kristin Espinasse

Diane, this is most encouraging and heartening. Thank you and big hugs.

Kristin Espinasse

Whoops! I forgot "bonne soirée" and use this one alot when emailing at night :-) It is often used in text messages, as well. Off to add it to the list.

Sally V.



Thank you Kristi.

Your posts are warm, sunny, uplifting, endearing and engaging; and not least, never boring. They are relaxing and de-stressing; like sitting down on the charming, comfy garden terrace or veranda of one's home before a beautiful and beloved view, to a, or many lovely, leisurely, refreshing cups of tea served with cheery, uncharted chit chat, conversation and chuckles with a dear, dear friend and sister. I notice and appreciate and salute your gift to communicate as effectively and as evocatively as you do, and, the effort and time and attention to detail (inconsequential and hardly ever more than one or two negligible and usually quirky typos notwithstanding) all the little touches you put in.

I have never commented before but had to on seeing Theresa's post and your lovely reply. Thank you to Theresa. And, of course, as I hope I have already communicated in so many words, many, many thanks and a big, warm hug and blowing kisses on the wind to you.

Re today's post, I have to say that after a word or topic or event such as quitter in one's life, Sally S.'s contribution is the best end ever and/or best word or greeting (and a promise or vow) to hear and to receive from a loved one: "Toujours."

Qué le Bon Dieu te benisse de plus en plus.

Sarah LaBelle

Of course, sole of a shoe, that is right. Duh, why did I think of the wrong English meaning of sole only? I used google translate to go from English to French in a phrase about the sole of my shoe and all became clear. That is a good idiomatic phrase! Merci, Kristin.

Kristin Espinasse

Hephzibah, I just read your comment out loud to my Mom and she has asked me to print it out and frame it for her for Mothers Day. I hope you know how much your words mean to me--and to my Mom. Mille mercis! God bless you.


I have a friend who always ends her emails with "hugs," which which makes me smile. So I looked up abrazos and google translate says it is a Spanish word.


PS I love your posts and images!


Dear Kristi, I saw your heartfelt post in reply to my initial post above, thanking me and letting me know how deeply moved not only you but also your mom have been by it; even to your dear mom requesting you to have it framed for her as her gift for Mother's Day. I have been trying since then to find the words capable of carrying what I have felt within me, the words capable of carrying what this extraordinary, unimaginable great honour means to me. I do not yet speak of the next step of communicating, of expressing; just, first, to find the words that could, to start with, carry the weight, the depth, the heights of the impact and meaning of you and your mom's precious words of gratitude and singular act of honour, has been a feat beyond the scope of any earthly words I can find. The thought, the picture, the very fact of my words, my thoughts, my heart,framed, set, with tenderest care placed in position on its wall, in its place of honour, in a home, in a place, in a country, miles away, and regarded tenderly and cherished daily, and giving encouragement, hope, strength, cheer to the eyes that gaze upon them and the hearts that feed on them: how could I possibly find the words to describe this indescribable honour it has pleased the Almighty God to use you to do me?

I strive and strove and the days passed, and became weeks, and I set myself the deadline of Mother's Day and it came and I was still speechless. I set myself the deadline of the other Mother's Day, since they aren't the same in the US, UK and Europe, and that came too and I was still wrestling.

I tried to think of what gift I could send, to you, and most especially to your mom, that would express what I wanted to say but I couldn't.

Instead, I did and have been doing, and by His grace will continue to do, probably the very best thing I can do and give the VERY, VERY BEST gift I can give i.e. I have been praying for you, praying for your mom, for Jules, praying for you and Jean-Marc and your entire family.

I guess I should not forget to also mention that not very long after reading your reply to my post, perhaps a day or two, or more, I came across another of your posts where, with the brave vulnerability of your usual honesty, openness, and realness, you had shared how on your morning walk, on seeing from afar someone whom you really did not wish to see - for reasons which you chose not to share, as is, of course,your prerogative - you chose to quickly turn away and walk away in the other direction. In the comments section, I saw that at least a couple of people were 'preaching' to you that you ought not to have done that and that whatever had happened between you and the person, you must go and make things up and become friends again. All I can say is that some of the the depth and weight of what I was still trying to find a way, the words to express in gratitude to you and your mom, powered the fierceness (and not least length) of my own comment, most stoutly, in your defense. You probably have not seen it, that second post of mine on your blog, yet but it's there. I don't remember the title but it's the one where you, having taken A NEW DIRECTION, you saw A NEW THING, bird tracks and patterns in the sand on the beach, which photo you generously shared with us. If you had not turned away from that person, who for whatever reason and in whatever way brought something toxic,or would have introduced in whatever form, negativity into your morning, you would never have made those beautiful discoveries you did that morning; which I pointed out in my post but let me not reproduce it all in its indignant length here. 🤯🤭

I did not know when I went to sleep last night, that today would be the day I would finally write this, finally respond to your reply to say thank you with my own thank you for you and your mom's thank you and honour. I had fretted practically every day since I saw your reply and I think I saw it within twenty-four hours of your posting it and that was I think, no more than three days after I had posted mine. I did not know, yesterday, that today would be the day. Yesterday, however, I remembered the fierce protectiveness, the power of the emotions that had welled up from within me, how I had risen up and raged, with fingers and keyboard, and graven my defense of you, across the page. Whilst yet, I lay speechless, in shock, without words, in a depth of emotions beyond years, moved and touched to a place, to a degree beyond words. Suddenly, the realisation came to me, how some people, mostly men, I think but how sometimes, we, or certain persons in our lives, may love us deeply, may be moved, may hold us in a regard beyond what we can imagine, may hold us more precious, more cherished, may value us higher, more dear, more weighty - us, and/or our actions - than we know, than we have guessed, than we think BECAUSE they never, or hardly ever, say so. They don't tell us. With words. Or, when they manage, once in a rainbow moon (I mean, if a blue one is rare ...) to do so, their words are hopelessly inadequate or awkward. Or, they tell others. About us. What we, and/or actions mean to them. They tell others. Or someone else. About us. Eloquently. But to us they may not ever speak their heart. At least, not with words. But they are speaking their heart to us all the time with their actions.

Despite the length of this post, do not think for one minute that I have finally found the words satisfactory and worthy to express how your mom's request and your action (oh, I just I remembered I haven't mentioned that even though I'm writing about it and in response to it, I didn't see your reply on the page after my comment as it was before; what have you done with it?) has fed, watered, brightly illuminated my soul, spirit and entire being. Far from it. I will, therefore,leave it to The One to Whom I prayed to give me the words to express to you my gratitude for your posts and just how much they uplift me, cheer me, how much I appreciate the sincerity and genuineness and generosity and kindness and positivity and tender strength of your spirit; and He gave me the Words; and with an impact and results, with fruit that I never could have imagined; it is to Him, it is to The One Whom I am so privileged to call "DAD", it is to the Almighty God, dear Kristi and precious, precious, precious Mama Jules, that I cede place to finish what He started.

God BLESS, BLESS, and then, BLESS you and your family.

In JESUS' Name.



Re where your reply went/what you did with it? Question answered. Now it has appeared.



A lot is always two words. Allot means a certain amount to have or share. "a lot" doesn't exist. As a high school English teacher it was always a tough explanation. I'm sure you can absorb it easily! Bonne weekend!

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