STOP ENDING your CONVERSATIONS Awkwardly: How to end a conversation in Spanish

STOP ENDING your CONVERSATIONS Awkwardly in Spanish! How to properly end a conversation.

You don’t want your conversations to end as awkwardly as in this example: 

ACTOR 1
¡Genial! Entonces, ¿está todo listo para la presentación?
(Great! So, everything is ready for the presentation?)

ACTOR 2
Sí, todo listo. 
(Yes, everything is ready.)

ACTOR 1
Bien. ¿Algo más?
(Good. Anything else?)

ACTOR 2
No.
(No.)

ACTOR 1
Vale. 
(Ok.)

ACTOR 2
Vale.
(Ok.)

ACTOR 1
Hasta luego, entonces.
(See you later, then.)

ACTOR 2
Si. Adiós. 
(Yes. Goodbye.)

I will show you 25 amazing ways and chunks to steer clear from that awkwardness and end conversations with a native speaker pleasantly. 

I’m Spring Spanish teacher Maura and here is your first option to end a conversation in Spanish!

1. Bye (Bye)

So, this needs no introduction, right? At the same time, you might be thinking: wasn’t I trying to learn Spanish? What’s this English word doing here? Well, saying “bye” in Spanish is almost entirely accepted, basically everywhere in Latin America. So feel free to rely on your English with this one. 

Este es el tipo de cosa que solo notarás una vez empieces a hablar con nativos, o que puedes practicar con nosotros convirtiéndote en miembro de nuestro Inner Circle. Como miembro, podrás chatear con tutores, otros alumnos y ser parte de las salas de chat que organizamos regularmente. (This is the kind of thing that you will only notice once you start talking to native speakers, or that you can practice with us by becoming a member of our Inner Circle. As a member, you will be able to chat with tutors, other students, and be part of the chat rooms we organize on a regular basis.)

Precisamente para que puedas notar cosas como que, sí puedes decir “bye” sin ningún problema para despedirte. (Precisely so you can notice things, like you can use “bye” without any problem to say goodbye.) Check the link in the description to try it out!

Yo lo hago todo el tiempo con mi familia. (I do it all the time with my family.) :

ACTOR 1
Ok. ¡Buenísimo! Bye, mami.
(Ok. Great! Bye, mommy.)

She said “bye mi amor” (my love)

Número dos (number 2)

2. Chao, chau, chaito o adiós (Bye or goodbye)

Chao (bye) is another one that came from another language. If you know which one, let me know in the comments! 

Nosotros, los que hablamos español, la hemos usado tanto y por tanto tiempo que ahora es parte oficial de nuestro idioma, con su propia ortografía y todo. (We, Spanish speakers, have used it so much and for so long that it's officially part of our language now, with its own spelling and everything.)

It has many unofficial variations as chau or chaito (bye) but they all mean the same as adiós (goodbye). The only difference might be that adiós (goodbye) has a better chance at being more formal and sounding a little bit more serious. Personally, I love using adiós (goodbye) when I want to be sarcastic or show disdain. And chao (bye) – and any of its variations – when I want to be sweeter. For example:

ACTOR 1
Vale, vale. Lo que tú digas. Adiós.
(Ok, ok. Whatever you say. Goodbye.)

Or

ACTOR 1
Qué bueno verte. ¡No te pierdas! Chaito.
(So nice to see you! Don't be a stranger! Bye.)

Chunk Alert!

No te pierdas (don't be a stranger) is an ideal example of what a chunk in Spanish is all about. Useful, practical and non-translatable. Of course, you can find good equivalencies in your language. For example, even though the literal translation to no te pierdas (don't be a stranger) is “don't get lost”, that is not what it means, you do have “don't be a stranger” in English and that's exactly what we mean with no te pierdas

Bottom line, no traduzcas chunks (don't translate chunks). Eso sí, puedes aprenderlos con nosotros accediendo al enlace en la descripción para obtener nuestro (Of course, you can learn them with us by accessing the link in the description to get our) free Essential Spanish Chunking kit

It's right there and it's for you. Go get it! 

Número tres (number 3).

3. Buenas noches, descansa. (Good night, get some rest.)

These two are only used at night, for obvious reasons. Unlike what you'd say during the day like buenos días o buenas tardes (good morning or good afternoon) this one does work as a way to say goodbye. These are some of the situations in which you could use them:

  • Al teléfono antes de colgar. (Over the phone before hanging up.) 
  • Cuando te vas a la cama, a la gente que vive contigo. (When going to bed, to the people that live with you.)
  • Cuando estás fuera, justo antes de irte. (When you're out, right before leaving.) 

The idea is that this is the final goodbye for the day and everyone is going home or to bed. Also, it doesn't always have to be nighttime, and you can use them both together. 

My friends and I said, ¡buenas noches, descansen! (good night, get some rest!) to each other the other day when saying goodbye after a party. Estábamos en la estación de metro y eran las seis de la mañana, pero todos nos íbamos a casa directo a la cama. (We were at the subway station, and it was 6 in the morning, but we were all going home straight to bed). ¡Eso es lo importante! (That's the important part!).  

Watch until the end to learn the best chunks to signal the conversation is coming to an end. You need to learn the “bridge” that leads you to saying chau (bye.)

Número cuatro (number 4).

4. Hasta… (Until…) 

With hasta (until) there are several alternatives that can make for very practical options you can use with almost anyone in almost any context, whether formal or informal. These are the options we'll go through:

  • Hasta pronto (Until soon)
  • Hasta luego (Until later)
  • Hasta mañana (Until tomorrow)

The only difference has got to do with time. If you say hasta pronto (until soon) it might mean you expect to see the other person, well, soon. No es tan rígido, así que no te preocupes en ser demasiado preciso o precisa sobre esto. (It's not as rigid, so don't worry about being too precise about this.) Just make sure it's someone you could actually see again and not a stranger on the streets, for instance. 

Hasta luego (until later) is broader, since you can use it whether you expect to see them again or not at all. Hasta mañana (until tomorrow) is the narrowest of the three, in terms of usage, since you do need to be seeing the other person the next day. So:

  • At a store or to a total stranger: hasta luego (see you later)
  • Someone at work or in the same class as you: hasta mañana (see you tomorrow).
  • A friend, a neighbor, or a place you intend to go back to: hasta pronto (see you soon).

Recuerda que hasta luego y hasta pronto no son tan rígidos. ¡Lo importante es que no uses hasta mañana con alguien a quien no vayas a ver mañana! (Remember that “see you later” and “see you soon” are not as rigid. The important thing is to not use see you tomorrow with someone you're not seeing tomorrow!).

Número cinco (number 5).

5. Gracias y que tengas un buen día o que estés bien (Thank you and have a good day or be well)

This is the most formal so far. You could use this on an email, over the phone, or face to face. Typically, you would need a context in which it makes sense to say gracias (thank you).

Después de eso, puedes decir “Que tengas un buen día” o “Que estén bien.” ¡No ambos!  (After that, you can say “Have a good day” or “Be well”. Not both!) Typical scenarios could be after an interview or to end a phone call you made to ask for information about something. 

I tend to end emails like this, and then I sign with my name. Pero no creas que eso significa que es una despedida escrita necesariamente. Puedes decirlo verbalmente con total naturalidad. (But don't think that means it's a written goodbye necessarily. You can say it verbally with full naturality).

To make it even more formal, make sure to use the right conjugation of the verbs – tengas and estés (have and be). For more about that, you can check Paulísima’s Tú vs. Usted video. 

Número seis (number 6).

6. Besos (Kisses)

On the contrary, this is definitely the most informal. Actually, what this requires is a relationship which is close and very friendly, since you could even use this with a romantic partner. Así que, cualquier cosa aparte de eso tendría que ser una amistad o un familiar. (So, anything apart from that would have to be a friend or a family member.) You can also end YouTube videos like this. Meaning, I could totally say this to you guys. Like this: ¡besos! (kisses!)

But we're not done yet. 

Número siete (number 7).

7. Nos vemos, hablamos, estamos en contacto. (See you, talk later, stay in touch.)

From here on, you could use most of these right before the ones we've seen so far to signal that the conversation has come to a necessary end. Though, the last option is by far the “crème de la crème” of signals. 

With these though, the 3 alternatives: 

  • Nos vemos (See you)
  • Hablamos (Talk later) 
  • Estamos en contacto (Stay in touch) 

are so good at saying adiós (bye) that you could even use them for that. 

De otro modo, funcionan bien para enviar señales. (Otherwise, they work well at signaling.) Meaning, you could have a conversation ending to look like this: vale, hablamos. (Ok, talk later.) And just end there. Or, it could be more like: vale, estamos en contacto. ¡Bye! (Ok, stay in touch. Bye!).

Número ocho (number 8).

8. Te llamo o te escribo luego (I'll call you or I'll write you later)

Usually, this is mostly to be used over the phone or by text. It's not that you can't use it face to face, but it's less common that it'll make sense to do so. Probably, some of the other alternatives would work better anyways. Of course, you should mean it. O sea, no digas que vas a escribir o llamar luego si no planeas hacerlo. (Meaning, don't say you'll write or call later if you don't plan to do so.) Some people do, of course, but it's just bad manners. 

Just as the ones above, you could end the conversation with this or add a little something extra afterwards. Like: No puedo hablar ahora. ¡Te llamo luego! (I can't talk now. I'll call you later!) Or, no puedo hablar ahora. Te escribo luego. ¡Besos! (I can't talk now. I'll call you later. Kisses!)

Número nueve (number 9)

9. Que bueno verte, cuídate. (So nice to see you, take care.)

The most typical situation for que bueno verte (nice to see you) would be the same as in English: you ran into someone in the street. Adding cuídate (take care) will help you to fully end the conversation, while still leaving room to use any of the first alternatives that actually mean chao (bye). 

At the same time, it'll make you sound super natural since these two chunks tend to go together in native speech. You can leave them together or space them out a step.  

ACTOR 1
¡Qué bueno verte! 
(So nice to see you!)

ACTOR 2
Igual a ti
(You too!)

ACTOR 1
¡Cuídate!
(Take care!)

ACTOR 2
¡Tu también!
(You too!)

Número diez (number 10).

10. Me tengo que ir o te dejo porque… (I have to go or I have to leave because…)

Now, this is a good one if you're ok with being more direct. You could use it virtually with anyone and in any circumstance as long as you add the correct excuse after porque (because). Also, add one of the first options after, like hasta luego (see you later), for example. 

La excusa puede ser real o completamente inventada, se trata de la amabilidad que representa el que te la inventes en primer lugar. (The excuse can be real or completely made up, it's all about the kindness of you making it up in the first place.) 

Just make sure that it holds. Over the phone it's easier, but be more careful if you're excusing yourself face to face, so that this doesn't happen to you:

ACTOR 1
Me tengo que ir porque ya me vinieron a buscar.
(I have to go because they came to pick me up.)

ACTOR 2
Seguro. ¡Cuídate! Que estés bien.
(Sure. Take care! Be well.)

Ten minutes later:

ACTOR 1
Maura, ¿no te ibas?
(Maura, weren't you leaving?)

ACTOR 2
Ah, si, es que… 
(Oh, yeah, it's just that…)

Número once (number 11).

11. Bueno, nada, en fin, es así. (Well, nevertheless, anyways, it is what it is.)

This is what I promised you before. These four little chunks are my go-to every time I need to signal that the conversation needs to end. Unlike the other ones, these do not end conversations whatsoever, and they definitely need you to say something afterwards. 

Son pequeñitas, sutiles y super útiles. Puedes usar combinaciones de ellas o todas por separado si la persona no es capaz de captar la indirecta a la primera. (They are tiny, subtle, and super useful. You can use combinations of them or all of them separately if the person is not able to get the hint the first time.)

ACTOR 1
Si. En fin…
(Yes. Anyways…)

Es así…
(It is what it is…)

Bueno… nada…
(Well… nevertheless…)

¡Vale, adiós!
(Ok, goodbye!)

Now, quick review. We have mainly 8 which definitely end conversations:

  • Bye
  • Chao o Adiós (Bye and Goodbye)
  • Buenas noches, descansa. (Good night, get some rest.)
  • Hasta: pronto, luego, mañana. (Until: soon, later, tomorrow.)

Your most formal one:

  • Gracias y que tengas un buen día o que estés bien. (Thank you and have a good day, or be well.)

Your most informal one:

  • Besos (Kisses)

And then, the ones you can use right before the conversation ends:

  • Nos vemos, hablamos, estamos en contacto. (See you, talk later, stay in touch.)
  • Te llamo o te escribo luego. (I'll call you, or I'll write you later.)
  • Qué bueno verte, cuídate. (So nice to see you, take care.)
  • Me tengo que ir o te dejo porque… (I have to go or I have to leave because…)

The best ones to signal, which definitely need a goodbye afterwards:
Bueno, nada, en fin, es así. (Well, nevertheless, anyways, it is what it is.)

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