French grammar Tous or tout

Tous or tout

Tous or tout in French?

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When can you use tous or tout in French?

The words TOUT can be a
  • Determinant
  • Adjective
  • Pronoun
  • Adverb
  • Noun

Determinant

Tout is a determinant if you can replace it with:

  • N'importe quel
  • Chaque

When it is a determinant or a qualifying adjective it is agreed with the noun to which it is attached.

Tout
Tous
Toute
Toutes
masculine - singular
masculine - plural
feminine - singular
feminine - plural

Je suis disponible toutes les semaines = Je suis disponible n’importe quel semaine
I am available every week
Les semaines is feminine and plural = toutes  

Tous les enfants sont là = Chaque enfant est là
All the children are there
Les enfants est masculin pluriel = tous

Qualifying adjective

Tout is a qualifying adjective if you can replace it with:

  • entier
  • en entier

When it is a determinant or a qualifying adjective it is agreed with the noun to which it is attached.

Tout
Tous
Toute
Toutes
masculine - singular
masculine - plural
feminine - singular
feminine - plural

On a pris tout l’espace = On a pris l’espace entier
We took all the space
Espace est masculin singulier = tout

Ils ont descendu toute la rivière = Ils ont descendu la rivière en entier
They went down the whole river
Rivière est feminin singulier = toute

Adverb

Tout is an adverb if you can replace it with:

  • vraiment
  • très

When it is an adverb, it is invariable, we always write it TOUT.

Mes chats sont tout mouillés = Mes chats sont vraiment mouillés 
My cats are all wet

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If the adverb all is placed before a feminine adjective
-that begins with a consonant
-that begins with an aspirated h
In this case the adverb agrees with the adjective

C’est une toute petite fille = C’est une très petite fille
She is a very small girl
La lettre p = consonne

Elle est toute heureuse = Elle est très heureuse
She is very happy
C’est un h aspiré

Pronoun

The pronoun is used to replace a group of people or things previously mentioned in the text or conversation.
We agree the pronoun with the group of people or things.

Le discours était compliqué, Marie m’a tout expliqué.
The speech was complicated, Marie explained everything to me.

Les analyses, elles sont toutes bonnes.
The analyses, they are all good.

Noun

Dans les situations d’urgence le tout c’est de rester calme.
Tout est un nom car il est précédé de l’article le.

La toute première fois.
The very first time.
Toute est un nom car il est précédé de l’article la.

Do you have any questions?
Thomas, your French teacher 😀 

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