Chloé et Sarah vivent toutes les deux, coïncidence, à Tokyo.

Chloé et Sarah ont toutes les deux, coïncidence, 30 ans.

In conversation, I tend to use "coïncidence" parenthetically like this without any preceding word ("une"/"quelle"). Is this usage (not found in a dictionary entry) considered generally acceptable?


2 Answers 2


Yes, this kind of incise is common, especially in spoken French, with coïncidence and other terms like surprise.

It is a shortened version of quelle coïncidence !, quelle surprise !, and is often used ironically.

A similar interjection can be "tada !" (reproducing the sound of a drum roll).

Due to its mainly oral usage, it is difficult to find occurrences of coïncidence used that way but here is a similar usage:

Sur la base d'un vote de 129 entraîneurs, c'est - quelle surprise ! - le Français Zinedine Zidane qui a été couronné.
Le Point, 1998

  • When you have a preposition, where do you place "coïncidence"? The first one, I take it? "Chloe et Sarah vivent toutes les deux, coïncidence, à Tokyo." or "Chloe et Sarah vivent toutes les deux à, coïncidence, Tokyo." Jun 21, 2019 at 21:22
  • The location of these incises is flexible. In addition to both of your valid suggestions, that might also be Chloé et Sarah, coïncidence, vivent toutes les deux à Tokyo and Chloé et Sarah vivent, coïncidence, toutes les deux à Tokyo.
    – jlliagre
    Jun 21, 2019 at 21:39
  • I see. Which one is your personal favourite? Jun 21, 2019 at 22:01
  • Vivent, coïncidence, toutes les deux...
    – jlliagre
    Jun 21, 2019 at 22:09

I think it's ok. Maybe not the way I would put things, I would probably say instead :

Il se trouve que Chloé at Sarah ont toutes les deux trente ans.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.