Tout d'un Coup French Expression

Tout d'un Coup French Expression

Expression: Tout d'un coup

Pronunciation: too doo(n) koo

Meaning: all of a sudden, all at once

Literal translation: all of a blow

Register: normal


The French expression tout d'un coup has two possible meanings.

Tout d'un coup is commonly used interchangeably with the expression tout à coup to mean "suddenly, all of the sudden":

   En entendant les résultats, il a tout d'un coup commencé à pleurer.

Upon hearing the results, he suddenly started crying.


   Tout d'un coup, j'ai eu envie de vomir.

All of the sudden, I felt sick.

Though many native French speakers regularly use tout d'un coup as above, it is technically incorrect. The original-and, for purists, only-meaning of tout d'un coup is "all at once, in a single movement."

   Au lieu de payer en plusieurs versements, j'ai décidé d'acheter la voiture tout d'un coup.

Rather than paying in installments, I decided to buy the car outright (pay the entire amount at once).


   Elle a avalé la bière tout d'un coup.

She swallowed the beer all at once / in one go, She gulped down the whole beer.

Synonym: d'un seul coup