In the Arabic language, every phrase tends to have a much more profound meaning than what it’s commonly used for. Saying good night or good morning is no exception.
While تصبح على خير tiSbaH ‘ala khayr is the most common way of saying good night in Arabic, there are still many different options, each with a different meaning and different response.
So, here are five different phrases you can use to wish someone goodnight in Arabic.
Good Night in Arabic at a Glance
All the Ways of Saying Good Night in Arabic
مساء الخير masaa’ al-khayr
The phrase مساء الخير masaa' al-khayr translates to “good evening”. People use it in the late afternoons or in the evening/night time most commonly as a greeting.
The phrase masaa’ al-khayr is easy to use because you don’t need to conjugate it at all. Whether you’re speaking to a male, female, or a group, you use the same phrase.
The common reply to مساء الخير masa’ al-khayr is مساء النور masaa’ an-noor, which, as you’ll see in the next section, you can also use as a greeting.
مساء النور masaa’ an-noor
We got a quick intro into مساء النور masaa’ an-noor in the previous section. It is used commonly in spoken conversations as a reply toمساءالخير masaa’ al-khayr.
This lovely phrase translates into: “this evening is full of light” (as in the light of your presence). It also doesn’t need any special conjugations so it’s fairly easy to use.
If someone greets you with مساء النور masaa’ an-noor, you would respond with مساء الخير masa’ al-khayr. But it is much more common for people to start the greeting with مساء الخير masa’ al-khayr.
تصبح على خير tisbaH ‘ala khair
The phrase تصبح على خير tiSbaH 'ala khair is the closest equivalent to the way people use the phrase “good night” in English.
It is used as a way to say farewell in the evening.
This is a personal favorite, as it translates into “I hope you wake up to all that is good”. It’s a very hopeful statement and it’s commonly used on departure if someone is leaving another’s house at night, or someone is leaving the room announcing they’re heading to bed.
When directed at a male it’s pronounced as it is, but when you’re speaking to a female it’s تصبحي على خير tiSbaHy ‘ala khair. If you’re using it with a group, it’s changed into تصبحوا على خير tiSbaHu ‘ala khair.
Read next: 11 Essential Ways to Say Goodbye in Arabic
أحلاماً سعيده Ahilaman saeidatanأحلاماً سعيده aHilaman sa'iidatan means “sweet dreams” in Arabic, but people don’t use it often in everyday life.
This is the kind of phrase you may find in a children’s book. You might also use it ironically in an attempt to seem formal.
If you do choose to use it, you don’t need to conjugate it. If you hear it, reply to it with the same phrase or a thank you: شكراً shukran.
طابت ليلتك Taabat laylatak
The Arabic phrase طابت ليلتك Taabat laylatak means “have a good night”. It’s a versatile phrase because you can use it both as a greeting and a farewell.
Not everyone in Arabic-speaking countries use this phrase. You’ll hear it more often in Maghrebi and Gulf dialects, but you’ll have to check with locals.
Nevertheless, you don’t need to conjugate it depending on whom you’re speaking with, and you reply to it with the same phrase.
Hopefully, now you’ll feel comfortable using one of these expressions to say goodnight in Arabic!
If you want to keep things simple, use مساء الخير masaa’ al-khayr to greet someone, and تصبح على خير tiSbaH ‘ala khayr to say farewell.
Wherever the Arab person with whom you’re speaking comes from and whichever dialect they speak, odds are that they will understand what you’re saying — and probably use one of these expressions often.