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à tombeau ouvert

The informal French expression “à tombeau ouvert” translates literally to “at or with an open tomb”.

English meanings:

  • at breakneck speed

French meanings:

  • très vite – very fast

Example sentence:

  • J’ai conduit la Mercedes de mon ami en Californie à tombeau ouvert. I drove my friend’s Mercedes in California at breakneck speed.
  • Je n’aime pas conduire à Montréal parce les Québecois conduisent à tombeau ouvert sur l’autoroute. I don’t like to drive in Montreal because the French Canadians drive at breakneck speeds on the highway.

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site,, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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