6 Ways to Say Bye in Russian: Formal and Informal

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Today I want to continue our dive into Russian greetings and show you six ways to say “bye” in Russian with their pronunciation.

Last time, I wrote you about the five ways to say “hi” in Russian which don’t divide into formal and informal but rather into the different tone they set for the conversation.

However, when it comes to saying “bye” in Russian things change a little bit.

As always, at the end of the article you will find a PDF chart available for download.

Let’s start!

bye in russian

Six ways to say “bye” in Russian

1. До свидания

I think everyone in the world knows this Russian expression, but many mistakenly believe it to be a single word.

Well, surprise! It’s not!

'До свидания' (pronounced dasvidània) literally means 'until the next time we see each other' and is the most formal way to say “bye” or even “goodbye” in Russian.

Of course you can say it also to your friends and close ones, but it’s not common as they may think you’re mad at them.

2. Пока

The word “пока” (pronounced pakà) is by far the most common and standard way to say “bye” in Russian, so just remember it.

The same word is also an adverb of time which means “for the moment,” “until now” and a lot of other things. It will come in handy!

If you prefer it a little more cheerful, you can double it and say “пока-пока” – the meaning doesn’t change just as “bye-bye!”

3. Счастливо

The word “счастлИво” (pronounced shaslìva) is a synonym for “bye” in Russian, even though it sounds a bit like “I wish you good things.”

This is another case when you have to be very careful with the pronunciation.

In fact, in Russian also exists the adverb “счАстливо” (pronounced shàsliva) which means “happily.” It is with this word that all Russian fairy tales end: 'И жили долго и счастливо' – and they lived happily ever after.

This greeting is used a lot, so don’t be afraid to say it!

4. Бывай

You probably already know that the verb “to be” in Russian is used differently than in English and many other European languages.

Here is just one proof! The imperative form of the verb 'бывать' (one of the verbs “to be” in Russian) can be used as “bye” in Russian.

I would say that it is quite uncommon and mainly used by the elderly people. However, sometimes it happens to hear that in movies and TV shows.

5. Досвидос

Let’s go from one extreme to the other. The greeting “досвидос” (pronounced dasvidòs) is the youthful and contracted form of the formal “goodbye”: до свидания. With a Spanish feel to it.

Young people often use this word, but you can also hear it from older people to say “bye” in Russian when they are in a particularly good mood.

I would translate it as “see ya” in English.

6. Чао

That’s right! One of the most famous Italian words made its way not only into many European languages, but also into Russian!

Now even Russians sometimes say “ciao” when they leave.

As an Italian living in Moscow, I also noticed that virtually every Russian I meet likes to show off his “knowledge of Italian” and pulls out the phrase “чао-какао” (which translates as “hi cocoa”).

It doesn’t mean anything, just be aware of it.

Bye in Russian PDF

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