How to Say Good Night and Good Morning for ESL Learners

Want to enjoy that hot cup of coffee? Here's how to be the first one to wake up.
Anna Bizon/Getty Images

Knowing how to say good night and good morning is important for every English learner. Before going to bed and after waking up in the morning, it's common to make small talk about sleeping. Here are the most common phrases used.

Going to Bed

In English, there are a variety of expressions to use when talking to someone before going to bed. Many involve wishing the other person a night of peaceful sleep and pleasant dreams:

  • Good night.
  • Sleep well.
  • Have a good night's sleep.
  • Make sure you get a good night's sleep.
  • I hope you sleep well.
  • See you in the morning.
  • Sweet dreams.
  • Sleep tight!
  • Night, night.

Other expressions are more insistent, including those a parent might use to tell a restless child it's time to go to sleep:

  • Lights out!
  • Time for bed!

Example Dialogues

Kevin: Good night.
Alice: See you in the morning.
Kevin: I hope you sleep well.
Alice: Thank you. Make sure you get a good night's sleep as well.
Kevin: Get some good sleep. We have a big day tomorrow.
Alice: Okay, you too.
Kevin: Lights out!
Alice: Okay, I'm going to sleep. Night, night.
Kevin: I'm heading up to bed now.
Alice: Sleep tight!

Waking Up

The moment after waking up in the morning is another time when people make small talk. They often ask each other how they slept and how they're feeling.

  • Good morning.
  • I hope you had a good night's sleep.
  • I hope you got some good rest.
  • Did you sleep well?
  • Did you get a good night's sleep?
  • I slept well, how about you?
  • How did you sleep?
  • Did you have any dreams?
  • Rise and shine.

Example Dialogues

Kevin: Good morning.
Alice: Good morning. Did you sleep well?
Kevin: I hope you had a good night's sleep.
Alice: Yes, thank you, I did. And you?
Kevin: Good morning, honey. I hope you got some good rest.
Alice: I did. How did you sleep?
Kevin: Good morning. Did you have any dreams?
Alice: I did. I had a strange dream and you were in it!
Kevin: Good morning.
Alice: I'm still sleepy. I think I'll hit the snooze for ten minutes.
Kevin: We don't want to miss our appointment, though.
Alice: Oh, I forgot about that.
Kevin: Rise and shine.

Other Common Sleeping and Waking Expressions

English is filled with idioms related to sleeping and waking up. Learning some of these expressions will be especially helpful to English learners:

  • Night owl: a person who likes to stay up late
  • Early bird: a person who usually wakes up early
  • Tossing and turning: being restless and unable to sleep, usually after lying in bed for a long period of time
  • To tuck someone in: to put someone to bed, usually by pulling the covers up over them so that they are warm and snug
  • To sleep like a baby: to sleep restfully, without any disturbances
  • To hit the hay: to go to bed
  • To catch some Zs: to go to bed
  • To wake up on the wrong side of the bed: to be in a bad mood

Example Dialogues

Kevin: I don't usually go to bed until 2 a.m.
Alice: You really are a night owl.
Kevin: Did you sleep well?
Alice: No, I was tossing and turning all night.
Kevin: You're in a grumpy mood today.
Alice: I guess I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
Kevin: I feel great this morning.
Alice: Me too. I slept like a baby.
Kevin: I feel exhausted after that long hike.
Alice: Yeah, you look pretty tired. Time to hit the hay.