Tout de suite

Essential French Expression

Tout de suite
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Meaning right away, on one’s way, immediately, straightaway
Literally all in a row
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Pronunciation French sound files [too d(eu) sweet]
IPA   [tu d(ə) swit]

Usage notes: Tout de suite is one of the most common expressions in the French language, and is just one of several ways to say “right away, immediately.” *

 Because the e in de is instable and therefore often silent, tout de suite is sometimes misspelled “toute suite” or even, in English, “toot sweet.” **

Par exemple…

Je pars tout de suite.   I’m leaving right away; I’m on my way.
Il a tout de suite compris.   He understood immediately.
On arrive tout de suite.   We’ll be there in a moment.

Texting abbreviation: tds

Expressions with tout de suite

à tout de suite
  abbreviation: à tout
  texting: a tt
  I’ll see / talk to you in a minute
bientôt mais pas tout de suite   soon but not too soon, “soonish”
Ce n’est pas pour tout de suite.   It won’t happen overnight / right away.
Je m’occupe de vous tout de suite.   I’ll be right with you, I’ll be with you in a moment.
Mettons cela au clair tout de suite.   Let’s get that straight right now.
mettre tout de suite (qqun) dans le bain   to throw (someone) in the deep end
pas tout de suite   there’s no rush, not just yet
prendre tout de suite (qqun/qqch) en grippe   to take an instant dislike to (someone/something)

* Synonyms for tout de suite

  • aussitôt – right away, immediately
  • aussitôt que possible – as soon as possible
  • bientôt – soon
  • dès que possible – as soon as possible
  • immédiatement – immediately
  • prochainement – soon, shortly
  • sans délai – right away, in short order
  • sur-le-champ – on the spot, immediately
  • tout à l’heure – in a moment (as well as "a moment ago")

** Another expression that was deformed when imported into English is "san fairy ann," from ça ne fait rien.

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Tout de suite

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