The phrase “good luck” is far from perfect, and we often need a better way to say to someone that we wish them good. You’ll find endless lists of supposedly better alternatives if you start googling on this topic. Just pick one that you like, and you become a master communicator. If only it were that simple.
How to Choose an Alternative to “Good Luck”
The meaning of “good luck”—and any other phrase that can replace it—depends on the context. Is the setting formal or informal? How well do you know the person? How close are you two? What kind of relationship do you have? Are you honest or cynical? Are you feeling joyful or sad?
If this sounds like I’m taking it too seriously, just think about the sentence: “I wish nothing but the best for you.” What does it mean when you say it to your child, younger brother, or sister? And what’s its meaning in Adele’s song?
Let’s take a look at various contexts and ways to say good luck to different people in your life.
Formal Alternatives to Saying “Good Luck”
In formal communication, it’s often hard to find another way to say good luck.
If you ask the internet, there’s one sentence that you’ll always find in the lists mentioned above. You know, it’s the one that mentions the recipients’ future endeavors. It does make you sound literate and polite. But does it match the message you’re trying to get across? It depends on the circumstances. Are you leaving the company? Or is your subordinate leaving? In both cases, this sentence is appropriate if you really wish the best for the other side. It will still work if you only want to sound cool and courteous.
The downside of this phrase is that it frequently serves as the closing line of a rejection email. Some people hate it for that reason. It is safer to simply say:
I wish you the best.
Semi-Formal “Good Luck” Alternatives
Another popular “good luck” sentence goes like this:
I wish you all the best of luck.
It is often appropriate, but it is a bit cumbersome. In most situations, you can use shortened versions:
All the best!
Best of luck!
Informal Alternatives to “Good Luck”
If you’re relatively close with the person you want to say (or send) this message to, you have more options, but there are also more things to be careful about.
If that person is superstitious (or you are), you can say:
Break a leg!
To wish luck to someone who doesn’t believe in luck and puts trust in their abilities, you can say:
I know you’ll do great!
You’re born for this!
You can do it!
You got this!
Or, if both (!) of you are religious, you can try one of these:
May God bless you!
I’m praying for you!
If you’re not sure how that person would react and would like to use something more neutral, it is safe to go with:
I hope everything turns out fine.
I hope you are doing well.
Ways to Say “Good Luck” in Specific Circumstances
The more details you know, and the more involved you are, it will be easier to find a personalized way to say good luck.
For example, if your friend, Tom, wants to propose to a girl named Kathy but doesn’t know how she would react, you could say:
Wow, Tom! I hope Kathy accepts to marry you! You’re such an amazing couple. I’m sure she feels the same as you!
Or, imagine an elderly lady from your neighborhood who wants to adopt a puppy from a shelter, but she fears it could grow into a large, disobedient, and aggressive dog. You can say this to her:
Mrs. Johnson, I’m sure there is a lovely pup with a calm temperament waiting for you to take it home. Trust your feelings, and you won’t make mistakes.
You can always use the information you have to create an original “good luck” sentence. But if you don’t have such information, you can use the one mentioned above.