How to say goodnight and sweet dreams in French in 30 ways

The night is full of mystery. Restoring for some, inspiring for others. Wherever we’re from, we all need to get some Zzz’s to function.

Whether you’re a night owl or a deep sleeper, it can be very useful to learn how to say goodnight in French. And if you’re an early bird, we also have you covered with our articles on how to say “good morning” in French and how to say “hello in French”.

Night owl, early bird? Don’t worry: this article isn’t about French ornithology!

Learning goodnight in French will help in the following situations:

  • When staying over at your francophone friends’ or relatives’ place.
  • When babysitting French-speaking children.
  • When saying goodbye after a big night out in Paris or Montréal.
  • When falling asleep next to your new French-speaking fling — We’ll also teach you how to say goodnight beautiful in French.
  • And many more!

At the end of this article, you’ll master the “night” vocab in French beyond your wildest dreams!

You can also download your free French language essentials eBook here, a trusty guide to all the French basics.

How to say goodnight in French

Before you doze off reading this article, let’s get right into it. In French, night is nuit, and evening is soirée.

Logically, — for once! — “goodnight” is bonne nuit and “good evening” is bonne soirée. Now, these two expressions only work if you’re saying goodbye in French. If you’re saying hello to someone in the evening, use bonsoir.

All clear? (if not, check out our French courses). Then let’s learn some vocab!

Sweet dreams and goodnight in French.

English French IPA Note/Context
Good night! Bonne nuit ! bɔnə nɥi !
Good evening. Bonsoir/Bonne soirée. bõswaɾ/bɔnə swaɾeə.
Have a good night! Passez une bonne nuit ! pasez‿ ynə bɔnə nɥi !
Goodnight my friend. Bonne nuit, mon ami(e). bɔnə nɥi, mõn‿ ami(ɛ).
I wish you a good night. Je te/vous souhaite une bonne nuit. ʒə tɛ/vu suɛt ynə bɔnə nɥi.
Good night, little ones. Bonne nuit, les petits. bɔnə nɥi,le pəti. For children
Good night, see you tomorrow. Bonne nuit, à demain. bɔnə nɥi, a dəmɛ̃.
I had a great day, good night. J’ai passé une bonne journée, bonne nuit. ʒe pase ynə bɔnə ʒuɾneə, bɔnə nɥi.

Romantic or flirty goodnight in French

You brought him/her home? Bravo! Whether you scored thanks to your amazing French skills — thank you Berlitz French blog — or you just want to say “goodnight my love” in French to your partner, the table below is very, very useful!

Romantic and flirty good night in French.

English French IPA Note/Context
Goodnight, my love. Bonne nuit, mon amour. bɔnə nɥi, mõn‿ amuɾ.
Goodnight, sweet dreams. Bonne nuit, fais de beaux rêves. bɔnə nɥi, fe də bo ɾɛvə.
Goodnight, I love you. Bonne nuit, je t’aime. bɔnə nɥi, ʒə tɛmə. Other ways to say I love you in French here.
Goodnight, beautiful. Bonne nuit ma belle. bɔnə nɥi ma bɛlə. For ladies only. More compliments in French here.
Goodnight, handsome. Bonne nuit mon beau bɔnə nɥi mõ bo Not widely used in French. We basically don’t compliment a man’s physique!
Goodnight, honey (female). Bonne nuit mon chéri bɔnə nɥi mõ ʃeɾi
Goodnight, honey (male). Bonne nuit ma chérie bɔnə nɥi ma ʃeɾjə

Other greetings for a good evening in French

Below are a few other options to use before you — or someone else — hit the sack. From “Sweet dreams” in French to “Have a good evening” in French, there are enough expressions to sleep like a log all night!

Have a nice cup of herbal tea before bedtime to help you relax in French.

English French IPA Note/Context
Have a good evening. Passe une bonne soirée. pas ynə bɔnə swaɾeə.
Sweet dreams. Fais de beaux rêves fe də bo ɾɛvə
Sleep well. Dors bien. dɔɾ bjɛ̃.
I’m going to bed. Je vais me coucher. ʒə ve mə kuʃe.
I’m exhausted. Je suis épuisé(e).
Je suis crevé(e) (slang)
ʒə sɥiz‿ epɥize(ɛ).
ʒə sɥi kɾəve(ɛ)
More French slang here.
It’s time to go to bed. C'est l'heure d'aller se coucher. sɛ lœɾə dale sə kuʃe.
Get some sleep. Va te reposer. va tə ɾəpoze.
Go put your PJs on. Va mettre ton pyjama. va mɛtɾə tõ piʒama. Usually for children.
I have to wake up early tomorrow. Je dois me lever tôt demain. ʒə dwa mə ləve to dəmɛ̃.
Would you like herbal tea? Tu veux une tisane ? ty vøx‿ ynə tizanə ?
Would you like milk with honey? Tu veux du lait avec du miel ? ty vø dy lɛt‿ avɛk dy mjɛl ?
Do you have enough pillows? Tu as assez d'oreillers ? ty az‿ ase dɔɾɛje ? When you have people over.
Do you need to use the bathroom? Tu as besoin de la salle de bain ? ty a bəswɛ̃ də la salə də bɛ̃ ? When you have people over, if the bathroom is shared. More on French bathroom vocab here.
Do you want a book? Tu veux un livre ? ty vøx‿ œ̃ livɾə ?
Turn off the light. Éteins la lumière. etɛ̃ la lymjɛɾə. Usually for children.

Sleep-related French expressions

Dormir comme un loir

  • Literal translation: To sleep like a dormhouse
  • Meaning: To sleep like a log

Compter les moutons

  • Literal translation: Counting sheep
  • Meaning: Counting sheep

Dormir sur ses deux oreilles

  • Literal translation: To sleep on one’s both ears
  • Meaning: To sleep deeply

La nuit porte conseil

  • Literal translation: The night brings advice
  • Meaning: Sleep on it

Comme on fait son lit, on se couche

  • Literal translation: As you make your bed, so you sleep
  • Meaning: Everything has consequences

Un nom à coucher dehors

  • Literal translation: A name to sleep outside
  • Meaning: A very difficult or weird name

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Bonne nuit les petits

“Bonne nuit les petits” (Good night, little ones) is absolutely cult in French culture. This popular French TV show first broadcast in 1962. It quickly became a ritual with the little ones and their parents, who would watch it together before bed.

While the last broadcast was in 1997, for many children of several generations, the iconic opening music still means that “le marchand de sable” (sandman) is coming!

Bonne nuit les petits is a popular French TV show from 1962.

“Good evening” in French, “Goodnight” in French…

You’re getting confused? If this article seems like a lot to assimilate, you might want to sleep on this new vocab.

And if you want some more, check out our other French vocabulary articles. “Hello in French” and “How are you” in French might be relevant for your French greeting skills!

Finally, here’s probably the most popular French lullaby to help you drift off. Bonne nuit !

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