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I Have a French Question

What is the difference between bonsoir and bonne soiree? (sorry I don't have accents on my keyboard). Is one masculine and one feminine? If so, when do I use them?

April 1, 2020



Bonsoir is usually used upon meeting someone whereas Bonne soirée tends to be used on leaving. For example if you enter a shop you might say Bonsoir (Good evening) and when you leave you could say (Have a nice evening) which implies that you won't see that person again that evening. Also the word "soir" is masculine and "soirée" is feminine.


When you meet someone : Bonsoir
When you leave someone: Bonne soirée, or bonsoir


The meanings are slightly different.

bonsoir --- "good evening", which is actually just a way to say "hello"

bonne soiree ---- "Have a good evening", a way to say "goodbye" in the evening


Bon soir = good evening or hello.

Bon soirée = have a good rest of the evening (this is why it’s said when parting and not on meeting).

Bon jour/bon journée have the same relationship to each other.


Bonjour/bonsoir : they are like hello/hi, greetings. Most of the time you use bonjour during the day, and bonsoir at night. Like if its 6pm and you meet a friend on the street, you would say bonsoir to say hello.

You would use « bonne soirée» to wish someone a good night, or when you're leaving. If you're sister is going out to the theater, you would say « bonne soirée !» before she leave. Or if you're leaving someone after a party, you could say « bye, bonne soirée !» (Bye, have a good night)


Matin (morning), jour (day), and soir (evening) are all masculine and refer to a specific point in time.

Matinée (morning), journée (day), and soirée (evening) are all feminine and refer to a span of time.

Bon (good) is masculine, bonne (good) is feminine.

Bonjour (good day) and bonsoir (good evening) are so common as to have become one word. They can be used coming or going.

Because bonne journée refers to a span of time it is more like "have a good day" and is more likely to be used in parting. Likewise with bonne soirée.

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