Du coup

Du coup
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French Expression

Meaning as a result, so
Literally of the blow
Register normal, informal
Pronunciation [du coo]
IPA   [dy ku]

Usage notes: I never learned the French expression du coup in school, so it was somewhat shocking to arrive in France and hear it everywhere.* It’s used far more often than donc, the word I tend to (over)use when talking about cause and effect.

Par exemple…

Il y avait beaucoup de monde sur le quai et du coup on a raté le train.   There were a lot of people on the platform and as a result, we missed our train.
J’ai perdu mon livre, du coup je n’ai pas pu faire mes devoirs.   I lost my book, so I couldn’t do my homework.
Tu n’as pas fini ton dîner. Du coup, pas de dessert pour toi !   You didn’t finish your dinner. So no dessert for you!

Synonyms

  • ainsi – thus, so
  • alors – so
  • c’est pourquoi – that’s why
  • donc – so, therefore
  • en conséquence – consequently
  • par conséquent – consequently
  • pour cette raison – for that reason
  • voilà pourquoi – that’s why

* Apparently it’s somewhat shocking to some French people, too. Author Claudine Chollet calls it

 un virus [qui] contamine toutes les conversations [….] C’est en réalité un outil de manipulation intellectuelle.
“a virus that contaminates all conversations…. What it really is is a tool for intellectual manipulation.”
Source: Tordons le cou à l’expression “du coup” !

Le Télégramme has a similar view:

 [L]’expression se propage comme un virus, appauvrissant considérablement le champ sémantique du langage oral….
"[T]he expression is spreading like a virus, considerably impoverishing the semantic field of spoken language….
Source: «Du coup». Un vilain tic de langage

 Essential French Expressions

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