What's the difference between "bonne nuit" and "bonne soirée"?

Ale Lorenzo
Hello, my name is Alejandra and the question I'll be answering now is: What's the difference between "bonne nuit" and "bonne soirée" in French? We use "bonne nuit" when we are going to bed, and we use "bonne soirée" when the night is still young and we're not turning in just yet. Here are a few contexts in which we would say "Bonne nuit". We spent the evening at the bar with some friends, now we're saying goodbye to each other, everyone is going back to their houses because the evening is over, so we all say "Bonne nuit" to each other. It's our nephew's bed time and we tuck him into bed. We say "bonne nuit" and he goes to sleep. We're having a party and we're playing board games well into the night. I'm tired so I say "bonne soirée" to everyone who is still gonna play for a bit longer, and they say "bonne nuit" to me. Here's the difference. If we were to assign either "bonne nuit" or "bonne soirée" to each person, we would have to give "bonne nuit" to people who are sleeping soon and "bonne soirée" to people who are going to continue with their activities for a while longer. It might be midnight, but if our roommate is just walking out the door to meet their friends at the bar, we tell them "bonne soirée". "Bonne soirée" indicates continuity of activities. "Bonne nuit" indicates sleep or turning in for the night. But something important that these both phrases have in common is that we say them at the end, as a goodbye. I hope this was helpful. Thank you for asking your questions publicly, this way other students who may have the same questions will benefit from the explanations of different tutors. Remember private video sessions are an option for one on one learning. Have a nice day!

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