Languages › French Usage of the French Expression Tout à Coup Share Flipboard Email Print Westend61/Getty Images French Vocabulary Pronunciation & Conversation Grammar Resources For Teachers By ThoughtCo Updated February 22, 2019 The French expression tout à coup (pronounced too ta koo) means "all of a sudden." It literally translates to "all at (a) blow." Its register is normal. Tout à coup is a very common French expression which indicates that something happened abruptly and unexpectedly. Examples Sans dire un mot, elle a tout à coup pris son sac et est partie.Without a word, she suddenly picked up her bag and left.Tout à coup, j'ai perdu l'appétit.All of a sudden, I lost my appetite. Tout à coup is often used interchangeably—though technically incorrectly—with the French expression tout d'un coup.