I usually use the expression "see you" to indicate something like "until next time", but the expression "see you" actually contains a verb "see" which should imply, at least that's why I think, that I'm currently seeing the person, since "see you" could be a shorthand for "see you around", "see you next time", even though these are just guesses.

Is it correct to say "see you" when not really seeing the person, for example when you're leaving a chat or writing an e-mail? Would there be a more appropriate expression for these situations?

  • It's a common idiom for the general sense of to be in communication with.
    – fixer1234
    Mar 5, 2017 at 21:24
  • See you implies about the same degree of interest in meeting again as How are you? might imply in the health of a new acquaintance. It's basically social oil of the pleased to meet you variety. Mar 6, 2017 at 0:34
  • we use bbl -- 'be back later' on many message boards, but see you soon would be understood.
    – WRX
    Apr 15, 2017 at 15:09

2 Answers 2


You can think of "see you" is a short form of "see you again soon". It doesn't matter whether you are currently with them, because you have probably seen them at some point before, even if you are not with them now, and it's about the next time you see them.

Arguably, you could still say it even if you expect your next contact to be by phone or email, because at some point after that you probably will meet them face to face again.

If you want to make it clear that you expect to be in contact with them by some other means (phone, email) then you can say:

Speak to you soon - for a phone or skype conversation
Looking forward to hearing from you soon - expecting a written communication

Note that the written form is rather more formal... it is more suitable to finish off an email than to say to somebody directly or by phone.

I have even heard expressions like "Skype you soon!".

  • If you have never met the person, and are unlikely to do so, you probably wouldn't say something as informal as this. If it were somebody that you had regular dealings with and your communications were quite informal, so you felt that you knew them quite well, then it might slip out- but the other person might think it a bit strange.
    – JavaLatte
    Mar 6, 2017 at 4:44

See you does imply an "in person" relationship, but it's not that weird in a very informal context. A similarly informal farewell would be "later," which can imply both "see you later" and "talk to you later."

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