See You Then: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
June 3, 2023

The phrase "see you then" is a commonly used expression to confirm a future meeting or event. It serves as an informal way to conclude a conversation while indicating a planned future interaction.

In short:

"See you then" is used to confirm an agreed-upon future time to meet or interact. It usually suggests a friendly or casual atmosphere.

What Does "See You Then" Mean?

This phrase is typically used at the end of a conversation to acknowledge a future meeting or event. It carries a friendly and casual tone, often expressing anticipation for the upcoming interaction.

Let's delve into its core meanings and related expressions:

  • It confirms an agreed-upon future meeting or event.
  • It is used to conclude a conversation in a friendly, casual manner.
  • It often implies a sense of anticipation or eagerness for the upcoming meeting.

Where Does "See You Then" Come From?

Its origins are not specifically known, but it's likely a shortened form of a longer phrase, such as "I will see you then" or "We will see each other then." The usage of "see you" as a form of goodbye can be traced back to at least the early 20th century, and it seems to be a colloquialism that arose naturally in spoken English.

Historical Example

"O he told me the story. Shall I see you then tonight at home?"

- The Fortune-hunters: Or, Two Fools Well Met. A Comedy, James Carlile,1725

10 Examples of "See You Then" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • Despite the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, I'll see you then for a coffee catch-up.
  • See you then, she said, waving goodbye as she left the party.
  • When the stars align and we finally find a perfect day for our postponed lunch, I'll see you then.
  • Have a safe trip. I'll see you then when you get back.
  • I'll drop off the paperwork in the morning. See you then.
  • Stay in touch, and I'll see you then when my circumstances change.
  • Our flight is scheduled for early Tuesday morning. See you then!
  • Thanks for having us; we'll see you then at the next gathering.
  • Our presentation is due next Friday. See you then.
  • I'm looking forward to our lunch date tomorrow. See you then!

Examples of "See You Then" in Pop Culture

The phrase "see you then" often appears in media related to daily life, conversations, and social situations, serving as a friendly, informal confirmation of future interaction.

Let's look at some examples:

  • "See You Then" is a 2021 film directed by Mari Walker. The story unfolds over a dinner where Kris, who has transitioned in the decade since their abrupt breakup, invites Naomi to catch up.
  • A quote from the 2013 book The Iowa Kid: The Murdered Family by Merle L. Case: “I'll be back before dark. See you then.”
  • A quote from the 2018 book Love in Plain Sight by Kateena M. Runge: "'See you then.' he says then walks to his truck."

Other/Different Ways to Say "See You Then"

There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "see you then."

Some of these include:

  • See you at that time
  • Until then
  • Looking forward to it
  • Can't wait
  • Meet you then

You can use these alternatives interchangeably depending on the context and the level of formality involved.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "See You Then":

  • What does "see you then" mean?

"See you then" is an informal expression used to confirm a future meeting or interaction. It generally suggests anticipation and a positive sentiment towards the upcoming event.

  • How can I use "see you then" in a sentence?

You can use "see you then" at the end of a conversation to confirm an agreed-upon future meeting. For example, "The meeting is at 10 a.m. tomorrow. See you then!"

  • Where does the phrase "see you then" come from?

The specific origins of "see you then" are unclear, but it likely developed from common conversational English.

  • Does the phrase imply a level of formality?

Not really. "See you then" is a friendly and casual phrase, typically used in informal situations.

  • Can the phrase be used in a professional context?

Yes, "see you then" can be used in professional situations, although it maintains a casual and friendly tone.

  • Is the phrase "see you then" only used in American English?

No, the phrase is used in various forms of English, including British, Australian, and Canadian English.

  • Does "see you then" always imply a positive sentiment?

Generally, yes. "See you then" often suggests anticipation or eagerness for the upcoming meeting, but the exact sentiment can vary depending on context and tone.

  • Can one use the phrase humorously?

Yes, like most phrases, "see you then" can be used humorously depending on the situation and context.

  • Is it acceptable to use the phrase in written communication?

Yes, "see you then" is perfectly acceptable in written communication, including emails and text messages.

  • Can the phrase be used negatively?

While the phrase usually carries a positive connotation, it can be used negatively depending on the tone and context.

Final Thoughts About "See You Then"

The idiom "see you then" is a casual expression that confirms a future meeting or interaction. It generally conveys anticipation and positive sentiment toward the upcoming event.

Here's a quick recap:

  • It is a phrase used to confirm a future meeting or interaction.
  • Its origin is not well-documented, but it is a common phrase in English conversation.
  • It can be used in various contexts and situations, reflecting its flexibility and casual tone.

The phrase embodies the anticipation and excitement inherent in future interactions, making it a warm and positive addition to any conversation.

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