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When I'm parting from someone, I say, "See you around." Sometimes I've heard people saying "Take it easy." or "Take care". What's the implication of these phrases? I understand that when I take an interview or something, maybe someone might say to me, "Take it easy". When I have a cold, someone might say to me, "Take care." I'd like to know whether I can use these sentences just as a greeting, instead of saying "Good bye". I also would like to know in what situations I can use the phrase "Take it easy."

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When saying goodbye, take it easy and take care are virtual equivalents. I wouldn't construe either one to mean anything more than a polite yet standard way of saying goodbye when two people depart from each other.

I also would like to know what situations I can use the phrase "Take it easy."

There are several uses of that phrase besides the standard goodbye. In context, it can be used when:

  • you try to calm someone down (Bob was about to get in a fight when his friends told him, "Calm down, take it easy.")
  • you want someone to be cautious (Jill was teaching her daughter how to drive, when they approached a sharp turn in the road. "This road takes a sharp turn up here," Jill said. "Take it easy on this curve.")
  • you want to tell someone they should embrace a more carefree lifestyle (Ted said to his friend Janet, "You stress out too much; you should just learn to take it easy.")
  • you want to help soothe or calm someone's anxieties or emotions (Brenda broke down in tears when she told her husband the bad news: she had just lost her job. Her husband embraced her, and tried to offer some reassurance. "Take it easy, honey," he said. "Maybe this will work out for the best somehow.")

Similarly, "take care" is usually just a shortened form of "take care of yourself," which is why some folks may say that to you when you're not feeling well, either physically or emotionally.

Both phrases often have undertones of empathy, although "take it easy," usually means to slow down or relax, while "take care" means to get well, or remain in good health or spirits. As I said before, though, when either of these are used as a substitute for goodbye, there's a good chance the speaker used one instead of the other only arbitrarily, unless something earlier conversation might have changed that.

6

All of those phrases are idiomatic meaning Goodbye with different levels of informality. There is normally no additional implied meaning behind these phrases.

Here is a list of common idiomatic phrases meaning goodbye grouped by rough formality. (Note that "level of formality" is difficult to measure in any meaningful way - and varies from group to group, so the formality ordering given here is intended only as a very rough guide)

Formal equivalents to Goodbye:

The following are equivalent to Goodbye, but are very formal, and might be said at the end of a formal dinner, wedding or interview, but sound somewhat stilted and "cold" for use with friends:

  • It was nice to meet you. (first meeting)
  • It was great/lovely to see you again (subsequent meetings)
  • Thanks for inviting me. (at the end of an invited event, such as a dinner or wedding - guests)
  • Thanks for coming. (at the end of an invited event, such as a dinner or wedding - hosts)
  • Godspeed (archaic)

Standard equivalents to Goodbye:

The following are semantically equivalent to goodbye, although are less formal than the variants given above.

  • Goodbye
  • Take care.
  • (Have a/Enjoy the rest of your) great (evening/weekend/day)
  • Bye!
  • So long!
  • Bye bye!
  • Farewell (somewhat archaic)
  • Cheers (UK English, esp. in traditionally working class areas of the UK)

Informal equivalents to Goodbye:

The following are semantically equivalent to goodbye, but are very informal, and would generally only be used between friends:

  • Take it easy.
  • See you later (also v. informal later! or laters! and US English v. informal Smell ya later)
  • See you later alligator (+ opt response in a while crocodile - common call-and-response idiom)
  • See you around
  • Have a great one (US English)
  • Til next time!
  • adios! (esp US)
  • cheerio! (UK English)
  • ta-ta (UK English)
  • toodle-oo (UK English - also toodles)
  • Peace! (US English. Also Peace, out).
  • Kisses (esp. US English).
  • In California later devolved into "late", I remember a while where "Late on your face" happened--may have been extremely local. Southern California always had the strangest phrases (Valley Girl?). – Bill K Oct 18 at 16:31

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