Coup de cœur (translated literally as blow of heart) is a French expression that is typically used when referring to things that someone really likes whether it be an object or a person. When it’s used in situations related to objects it’s used in contexts like when someone says “I love that house!”. In English, when we say that we love a house (or another kind of object) it’s naturally understood that it’s a different kind of love than the way you love a family member. Un coup de cœur represents this sort of love. When it’s used to talk about a person it typically represents a crush.
Depending on how it’s used in context coup de cœur can be translated as “love at first sight”, “heart-stopper”, “you’d love it” or even just “favorite”. Although coup de cœur is only used for objects, it’s really best used for things that elicit a strong emotional such as a film, house, car, book etc.. You probably wouldn’t to use it for your favorite pencil you use at school.
There are so many different ways to use coup de cœur in conversation, but let’s take a look at some of them below.
Quel est ton activité coup de cœur à Paris – What is your favorite activity to do in Paris ?
J’ai un coup de cœur pour cette ville – I really love this city
La Tour Eiffel est un gros coup de cœur – What I really love is the Eiffel Tower
Elle a un coup de cœur pour lui – She’s got a crush on him
Sur un coup de cœur, j’ai acheté une voiture – On an impulse, I bought a car
The French expression coup de cœur is so versatile that it can be used in more contexts than one can count. For this reason, it’s really important to see it used in context as many times as you can. Only by doing this will you get a feel for when it’s appropriate to use it and when it isn’t. For more French vocabulary and expressions take a look at the French vocabulary page.