Guide: How to Say Goedenacht

Hello and welcome to our guide on how to say “goedenacht”! Whether you’re planning a trip to the Netherlands or simply want to expand your linguistic knowledge, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about this Dutch phrase. In this guide, we’ll cover both the formal and informal ways to say goedenacht, and we’ll also discuss any regional variations if necessary. So, let’s get started!

Formal Way to Say Goedenacht

When it comes to using formal language, it’s important to show respect and display proper etiquette. In formal situations, such as addressing someone you don’t know very well or when speaking to someone older than you, you can use the phrase “goedenacht” to say goodnight. Here’s an example:


Formal: Goedenacht, mevrouw. Welterusten. (Goodnight, ma’am. Sleep well.)

The word “goedenacht” itself is formal and suitable for any formal situation, regardless of the region.

Informal Way to Say Goedenacht

When chatting with friends, family, or people you are close to, you can use a more casual and relaxed way to say goodnight. Here, the phrase “welterusten” is commonly used. Let’s take a look at an example using this more informal phrase:


Informal: Welterusten, vriend. Slaap lekker. (Goodnight, buddy. Sleep well.)

Remember, using the term “welterusten” is only suitable for informal situations. If you’re interacting with someone in a more formal setting, it’s best to stick with “goedenacht.”

Regional Variations

While the terms we’ve discussed so far apply to the majority of Dutch speakers, it’s worth noting that there can be some regional variations in how people say goodnight. These variations are more common in local dialects, and it’s not necessary to learn all of them unless you’re specifically interested in a particular region. However, for those who are curious, here are a few examples of regional variations:

  • Limburg: Nach, slaop good. (Goodnight, sleep well.)
  • Groningen: Zwaante, goie naach. (Goodnight, sleep well.)
  • Zeeland: Gâdet wel, slaop lekker. (Sleep well, sleep tight.)

These regional variations tend to be more prominent in local conversations and are not commonly used outside their respective areas. Nevertheless, if you’re traveling to these regions, it can be an interesting way to learn more about the local culture.

Tips and Examples

Here are a few additional tips and examples to help you better understand the usage of “goedenacht” and “welterusten”:

  • 1. Always pair with verbs: In Dutch, it’s common to pair “goedenacht” or “welterusten” with a verb. For example, “slaap lekker” (sleep well) or “droom zacht” (dream softly) are often added after the initial greeting.
  • 2. Adjust greetings based on gender: While the primary difference between formal and informal phrases lies in the choice of “goedenacht” or “welterusten,” you can also adjust the greetings based on gender. In the formal setting, use “mevrouw” (ma’am) for females and “meneer” (sir) for males. In the informal context, you can use “vriend” (friend) for males and “vriendin” (friend) for females.


Formal: Goedenacht, meneer. Slaap lekker en droom zacht. (Goodnight, sir. Sleep well and dream softly.)

Informal: Welterusten, vriendin. Droom zoet en slaap lekker. (Goodnight, friend. Dream sweetly and sleep well.)


Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to say “goedenacht” in both formal and informal contexts. Remember to use “goedenacht” when you want to be polite and show respect, especially in formal situations. On the other hand, “welterusten” is a more casual option suitable for informal conversations with friends and family. Don’t forget to pair these phrases with well-wishing verbs like “slaap lekker” (sleep well) or “droom zacht” (dream softly) to complete your goodnight greetings. Enjoy your conversations in Dutch and have a wonderful night’s sleep!

Written by Mikayla Tammy

Hi everyone, Mikayla here! I'm absolutely fascinated by words and their infinite combinations, which is why I spend my time exploring the nuances of language around the world. My free time is usually spent writing guides on how to pronounce and use different words in various contexts, enabling me to share my love for linguistics widely. Of course, I'm not just about words - in my downtime, you’ll find me exploring the great outdoors, perfecting my Morse code, or coding in Python. Let's get lost in the beauty of words together!

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