Tout à coup

Tout à coup
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Essential French Expression

Meaning all of a sudden
Literally all at (a) blow
Register normal
Pronunciation French sound files [too ta koo]
IPA   [tu ta ku]

Usage notes: The French expression tout à coup is used to express that something happened suddenly, without warning or expectation.

Par exemple…

Tout à coup, la voiture s’est retournée.   All of a sudden, the car flipped over.
Je lisais quand tout à coup j’ai eu une idée.   I was reading when I suddenly had an idea.

French lesson plans Tout à coup in action

Example of tout à coup in a real-life video from Lawless French Immersion:

Et tout à coup, paf ! On finit par ressortir ailleurs.   And suddenly, bam! You end up coming out elsewhere.
Video: Secret passages: the traboules of Lyon

Synonyms

  • brusquement
  • de but en blanc
  • soudain
  • soudainement
  • subitement

 Faux synonym: Tout d’un coup is sometimes incorrectly used as a synonym for tout à coup.

 Tout à coup is an indicator that you need the passé composé rather than imparfait.

 Related lessons

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Tout à coup

Stay up to date with Lawless French

Any Questions?

 Ask away in the comments section below or start a conversation on any of the Lawless French social media pages.
 

More Lawless French

 Subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter.
      

Support Lawless French

  This free website is created with love and a great deal of work.

If you love it, please consider making a one-time or monthly donation.

Your support is entirely optional but tremendously appreciated.