Goodnight or Good Night – One Word or Two Separate Words

Every night your kids run up the stairs to their bedrooms. From the top of the stairs, they yell “Good night Mom & Dad!” But is it goodnight or good night? Most people don’t realize that they aren’t sure until they have to write the words. This is actually very similar to the however vs how ever grammar rules. In this post, we’ll teach you the difference between these similar but different words.

Good Night and Goodnight – Which Is Correct?

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Man thinking if it's goodnight or good night

Use two words “good night” when wishing someone farewell. Just like drive safe or safely is used as a farewell. However, this is most commonly used as a farewell before going to bed [1].

This phrase is used to show genuine affection or simple politeness. It can be used as a farewell when parting ways with friends or loved ones, or as a gentle way of saying goodbye. It follows similar rules as the phrase “up to or up to” and in the English language.

On the other hand, “goodnight” is used mostly as an adjective before a noun. For example, “goodnight kiss” or “goodnight hug”.

Takeaway: “Good night” is a way of wishing someone a peaceful and restful evening. Use “goodnight” when you are referring to the noun or adjective form.

Goodnight Definition

The definition of goodnight can slightly change depending on the context of the sentence. This compound word can be used as an adjective or a noun. Not to mention it follows a very similar spelling rule to just incase or just in case!

Adjective Form

Goodnight can be an adjective describing the verb or action. We could have “goodnight walks” and “goodnight kisses.” We could tell our loved ones to have a “goodnight sleep” and wish them “goodnight stars.”

Takeaway: Be on the lookout for goodnight as an adjective describing the nature of an action.

Noun Form

Goodnight can also be used as a noun. Although it is much more common to be used as an adjective. It is rare to see words that can be used as more than one part of speech!

For example: “The children said their goodnight then ran off to bed.”

Takeaway: Goodnight as a noun is rare, but can be used.

Good Night Definition

Good night is an interjection, or a short utterance that is used to express emotion [2]. Good night is one such interjection. Interjections can be used to express a wide range of emotions, from excitement and joy to anger and frustration. Interjections can even stand alone as their own complete sentences. Be sure to understand the difference between interjection and conjunction to avoid making silly mistakes!

Here are some examples:

  • After a long day at work, you might say “Good night” with a weary sigh.
  • After hearing some good news, you might say “Good night” with a smile.

In the English language, there are many ways to say farewell. Here are a few popular examples:

  • See you later” – More casual and friendly
  • Take care” – Good middle ground between casual and formal.
  • Best of luck” – Used when someone is moving on to something new
  • Safe travels” – Used when someone is departing for travel
  • Good to hear from you, we’ll talk soon.” – Used when saying goodbye to a friend you haven’t seen in a while

Just like we saw in our post about the words vender or vendor, spelling matters! So no matter which synonym you choose make sure it is spelling correctly.

Takeaway: Good night is thought to be short for “I hope you have a good night”.


Greetings are important for many reasons.

  • They help to set the tone for interactions. A warm and friendly greeting can make someone feel welcome, while a cold and abrupt greeting can make someone feel unwelcome.
  • Greetings help to create a rapport between two people. They signal that we are interested in the other person and want to establish a connection.
  • Help to build trust

There are many ways to say hello, and which one you choose often depends on the situation. Here are some examples:

  • “Good morning/afternoon/evening. It’s nice to meet you.”
  • “Welcome! I’m so glad you could join us.”
  • “Hello, my friend! It’s great to see you.”
  • “Hey man, how is your day going so far?”

Take the time to greet the person before hopping right into the conversation. It does not take much effort to be nice!

Wrong Ways To Say Good Night

You always have to understand the context of the situation before choosing the appropriate farewell phrase. For example, you would not say “sleep tight” to you boss as you are leaving the office. That would be more appropriate when talking to a child.

You are better off using the phrase “good night” in all situations to avoid confusion. Here are some situations when it is appropriate to use this phrase.

  1. Ending a conversation
  2. Leaving a social gathering
  3. Closing a workday
  4. Saying goodnight to loved ones

FAQs – Goodnight or Good Night

Q: Is Goodnight a single word?

It can be tough to determine if goodnight or good-night should be used. The truth is, it depends on the context of the sentence. If you are trying to say farewell to someone, use two words. If you are using it as a noun or noun-adjective, use one word. For example, you would say “be sure to say your goodnight prayer”.

Q: Is there a space between goodnight?

For many people, Good night and goodnight are one of the most challenging phrases in the English language. If you want to say farewell to someone or wish them sweet dreams, you should use the two-word variant”good night”. When it is used as a modifier or adjective only one word should be used “goodnight”. This rule also applies to “good morning”, “good evening”, and “good afternoon”.

Q: Is it goodnight kiss or good night kiss?

It is grammatically correct to say “good night kiss“. In this example, good & night should be used as two words. The adjective “good” is used to express emotion & comes directly before the noun it modifies. If things did not go so well, you might say it was a “bad night kiss”. It would not make much sense to say it was a “badnight kiss” or “good bye”.

Q: Why is Goodnight not a greeting?

The vast majority of the time, when we say “goodnight,” we are actually saying goodbye to someone. It’s a farewell, not a greeting. There are plenty of other greetings we can use. It is not grammatically correct to use “goodnight” as a greeting. Use it to say goodbye instead! Remember, “good night” and “goodnight” cannot be used the same way.

Q: Can we say night instead of Goodnight?

Yes, you can say night instead of goodnight. In fact, in many languages, the word for “goodnight” is simply a translation of the word “night.” So there’s no reason why you couldn’t use the word “night” as a replacement for “goodnight” in English as well. This rule also applies to good afternoon. As a replacement, you can say “afternoon”.

The Bottom Line

This article is explaining the difference “goodnight” and “good night”. Just putting a space in between good & night can totally change the meaning of the phrase. Choosing “good night” or “goodnight” can be the difference between using a noun, adjective, or interjection! Now that you know the difference between these two terms you can use them correctly in your writing.