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Complete post:

May

21

2013

Du coup...”

As a result...”, and so...

The expression Du coup... is extremely common, especially in spoken French. So, how should we use it?

Basically, du coup makes a logical link between two elements, the second one arising as a result of the first.

Du coup frequently 'justifies' some whim, for example a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Let's consider some examples:

  • Cette robe était en solde, du coup je l'ai achetée!
    = This dress was on sale so I bought it!
  • Je l'ai rencontré au match, du coup je l'ai invité à venir prendre l'apéritif à la maison.
    = I met him at the match and so, I invited him to come and have a drink at my place.
  • Ils ne pouvaient pas venir, du coup nous avons reporté la réunion.
    = They couldn't come so we put off the meeting.
  • Michel a pris un jour de RTT*. Du coup, on va passer la journée à Paris.
    (*Une réduction du temps de travail)
    = Michel has taken a day off in lieu so we're going to spend the day in Paris.

************

Similar expressions:

Du coup can be replaced by:

  • par conséquent
  • de ce fait
  • à la suite de quoi

Comment(s)/question from Netschwester on May, 21 at 12:59

I understood that the word donc had a similar meaning, am I correct?

Comment(s)/question from equipe_lfbp on May, 21 at 15:21

When we use donc, there is cause and effect. That is, the logical consequence of the first element of the sentence... is the second element. For example:

  • Le témoin n'a rien vu, donc il ne peut rien dire.
    = The witness saw nothing. Therefore, he can say nothing.
  • Ma voiture est tombé en panne, j'ai donc été retardé.
    = My car broke down. Therefore, I was delayed.

The logical consequence is not always established when using du coup. (Du coup often introduces a whimsical action, decision, etc.)

In the spoken language, of course, we will often break the rules... so sometimes we will find donc, sometimes du coup.

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