Many English learners wonder when to use good evening vs. good night. This lesson will teach you how to use these English phrases!
Evening is the time when the sky starts to get dark – usually around 6-8 PM.
Night is the time when it is dark and people are generally sleeping.
Good evening: Meaning & Examples
Say “Good evening” to say “hello” after 6:00 PM. “Good evening” is commonly used at restaurants, in a professional context, and in speeches (when you speak in front of a large number of people):
- “Good evening, do you have a reservation?” (at a restaurant)
- “Good evening, Tom. How are you?” (to a colleague)
- “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen…” (in a speech)
In general, “good evening” is a little more formal. Friends don’t normally say “good evening” to each other – they would say “Hi” or “What’s up?” or another informal phrase for greeting people.
Good night: Meaning & Examples
Say “Good night” to say “goodbye” – when you are leaving to go home. Family members also say “good night” when they are going to bed.
- “Good night, Janet. See you tomorrow.”
- “Good night, mom. I’m going to bed.”
Now you know when to say the English phrases “good evening” and “good night”!