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When can one greet using the parting expression 'good night'? Can one use it while parting at day time?

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I would say that parting this way before the evening (before 6pm) would probably result in a jokey response about going to bed early. I'm in the UK and tend to use 'Good Evening' at all times prior to the actually act of going to bed.

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  • The function of the expression GOOD EVENING is only meeting. It is used only when you meet someone, right? My question was about parting expression GOOD NIGHT and it's usage n timing Nov 14 '18 at 12:31
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    Good evening can be used as a parting expression, there aren't rules surrounding it's specific usage and I use it as a parting expression. If you want core times, I guess using good night would be fine at any point past 5pm-ish. Prior to then would be consider afternoon.
    – moonCat93
    Nov 14 '18 at 12:33
  • I have used good night as a conversation closer to people going to sleep—even during the day (and not as a joke). It's used so commonly to mean sleep well that its meaning is known even if it's not actually night. But if you're talking about leaving somebody who is not about to go to sleep, then the exact time would vary from person to person. Nov 14 '18 at 15:47
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Good night is definitive.

You are either leaving a group of people and going elsewhere so you will not see them again that night.

Or: You are going to bed and say it to those around you whom you will also not see again until the next morning.

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"Good night!" is best used in late evening or during the night.

It usually carries the meaning "Sleep well!", therefore it is best used when you know that the person(s) are very likely to go to bed.


For parting during the evening (especially early evening), I prefer to use:

Have a nice evening!

or if its late evening:

Have a nice evening... and a good night!

If it is late at night, I might say:

Have a good night ... what's left of it! :)


Even though native speakers might use "Good night" right after lunch (the the comment from @JassonBassford), as a non-native English speaker (like myself) you should not go to the extremes of the language - at least until you get more experience.

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