All Ways of Wishing ‘Good Luck’ in English: Formal and Informal

Person wishing good luck in English, using different expressions in different contexts

All the Ways to say “Good Luck” in English: Formal and Informal

Wishing “Good Luck” in English can vary significantly depending on the context and formality of the situation. From a job interview to a stage performance, a new job to relocating to a new city; this article explores different expressions used to wish someone luck, both in formal and more relaxed, informal situations. We will also delve into the meaning behind the famous saying “break a leg” and the literal translation of “good luck”. 

Formal Good Luck Expressions

In formal contexts like business meetings, job interviews and official situations, it is important to use appropriate language, even when well-wishing. Here are some suggestions to help you wish good luck in a professional way:

  • “I wish you the best of luck.” – A sophisticated way to wish someone luck.
  • “May fortune be on your side.” – This phrase expresses a wish for fortunate and auspicious success. 
  • “I wish you every success.” – Ideal for professional situations where you want to wish someone luck in general.

Informal Good Luck Expressions

When you’re with friends or in less formal situations, you can use more relaxed expressions. Here are a few examples:

  • “Good luck!” – The direct translation of “buona fortuna”, simple but always effective.
  • “Best of luck!” – A slightly friendlier variation of “good luck”.
  • “Fingers crossed!” – Literally “dita incrociate”, used to express a strong hope for a positive outcome.

“Break a Leg” – What does it Mean? 

The expression “break a leg” is frequently used in performing arts, especially in the theatre, to wish a performer good luck without explicitly saying “good luck”, which according to some superstitions, can actually bring bad luck. This expression has become popular for wishing someone success in an ironic and playful way. 

How to Use These Expressions

It’s important to use choose the best expression for the situation you are in, which will depend on the context and relationship you have with the person you are wishing luck to. In a working environment, you must pitch your communication appropriately so make sure you use more formal expressions. On the other hand, if you are in the company of friends, you can opt for more spontaneous and personal phrases. Being able to identify and understand your environment will arm you with the knowledge to choose the most appropriate language for the situation.