Is it Goodnight or Good night? Here’s the correct spelling

Saying farewell is something you should know early on when learning a new language. One good way to say farewell to someone is with the phrase “good night.” But how do you spell good night? And is goodnight one word? These are questions we all have to ask sometimes, which lead us to our final answer. Do we say have a good night or goodnight?

Is it Goodnight or Good night?

The correct spelling is both “goodnight” and “good night,” but for different reasons. “Good night” is an interjection used to express emotion, typically reserved for when somebody is exiting a conversation. “Goodnight” is an adjective that is meant to modify a noun (like “kiss”) to make it known that someone is referring to an action happening at night.

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The interjection “Good night”

Let’s start by talking about the interjection, “good night.” It’s fairly common in English, and you can come across it in a variety of ways. Firstly (and most commonly), you’ll see it said when people are saying goodbye for the final time that night. It’s usually said in the evening or nighttime and is used to say that you hope the other person has a good night. Whether that means the remaining time left in the night or the sleep time they’ll have is another question.

It’s also pretty common to say to someone just before they go to sleep and is a nice way to wish them well in their sleep. Though not nearly as common, “good night” can also be used as a greeting. If two people are meeting at night, then “good night” will hold just as much meaning as two people meeting in the morning and saying “good morning.”

The adjective “Goodnight.”

So, what about the adjective goodnight? How can we turn it into one word and use it correctly in a sentence? Well, it’s fairly easy. You’ve probably seen the term “goodnight kiss” being used. This is a good example of when “goodnight” becomes an adjective. It’s basically used to modify the noun “kiss” in the sentence to let us know what kind of emotion is included in the kiss.

If we left the two words separate and said “good night kiss,” then “night” would be the adjective that modifies “kiss,” and that wouldn’t make much sense. That’s why the two words need to be joined together and won’t work in this manner if they’re separated.

The noun “Goodnight.”

There is one final way you can use “goodnight” with the two words combined: as a noun. Basically, when the word “goodnight” becomes the object of the sentence, we can use it as one word combined that portrays the meaning. If someone were to “say their goodnights,” it’d mean they wish everyone “good night” before they go to bed. It’s not the most common way to use the term “goodnight,” but it is another way to do so.

At which occasions do you say Goodnight vs Good night

As we’ve mentioned above, the reason you would group the two words or leave them separate depends entirely on the context that you’re using them. If you’re grouping them, you’re either using it as an adjective or a noun (most likely an adjective). In this sense, you’ll want to write it as “goodnight” and make sure there is always a noun modified after you’ve written it. The more practice you have here, the better.

If you’re using the two words separately, you’re only using it as an interjection. It’s probably the most common way to say “good night,” as most people will often say goodbye or farewell to someone in this way. However, it’s still important to remember to separate the two words, as they won’t make sense in writing if you don’t. In speaking, it’s not nearly as important as both are pronounced the same way.

You might also be wondering about hyphenation. If you’re grouping the words, why isn’t “good night” hyphenated when it becomes an adjective rather than made into one word. It’s simply because a hyphen acts as a joiner that combines two closely linked words to modify a noun. When we use “goodnight,” the term is already sufficient and recognized as a word, so we don’t have to worry about the hyphen.

10 example sentences of Goodnight or Good night

Now that we’ve got that all sorted, it’s time to look at a few examples of when to use “goodnight” in the adjective and noun form and when to use “good night” as an interjection. We’ll give you these examples and then test you with a quick quiz at the end to see what you’ve learned from all this!

  • I gave her a goodnight kiss.
  • I hope you have a good night.
  • Good night, Mr. Smith.
  • They said their goodnights and went to bed.
  • Good night and see you in the morning.
  • Have a good night, gentlemen.
  • My kids love saying their goodnights in funny ways.
  • I gave my pup a goodnight kiss.
  • Good night to you, my friend.
  • I hope you enjoyed that goodnight kiss.

That’s a lot of examples, but it gives you a good idea of how we can use the different types throughout our writing. Once you’ve got a better understanding of the differences, you’ll be masterful in knowing when to use which variation!

You may also like: 35 Best Replies To “Good Night” (For All Situations)

Quiz: Have you mastered Good night or Goodnight grammar?

Let’s finish up with a quiz now to see what you’ve learned. We’ll include the answers at the end so you can compare, but we encourage you to try it yourself without peeking at the answers to see how well you do.

  1. I hope you have a (A. good night / B. goodnight), sir.
  2. My mom gave me a (A. good night / B. goodnight) kiss.
  3. They said their (A. good nights / B. goodnights), and went to bed.
  4. (A. good night / B. goodnight) friends, I’ll see you in the morning.
  5. What a (A. good night / B. goodnight) it is.

Quiz answers

  1. A
  2. B
  3. B
  4. A
  5. A