FR: tout / toute / tous / toutes

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by mayflyaway, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. mayflyaway Senior Member

    English (USA)
    Moderator note: several threads have been merged to create this one.

    This thread discusses the grammatical choice between "tout," "toute," "tous," and "toutes." If you are interested in dicussing the pronunciation of "tous," please DO NOT do so here. We have a separate thread dedicated to the subject:
    tous (pronunciation)


    What is the appropriate usage for these words? I know the meaning, I just am not clear on when to use which.

    Thanks,
    Rachael
     
  2. la reine victoria Senior Member

    Hi Rachael,

    tout - masculine singular
    toute - feminine singular
    tous - masculine plural
    toutes - feminine plural

    LRV:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  3. mayflyaway Senior Member

    English (USA)
    Wow. Thats just too many words that mean the same thing. I guess it's not too hard to remember which is for what. Thanks!
     
  4. la reine victoria Senior Member

    Mais non Mayflyaway,

    The word 'tout' (all) has to agree with its subject

    Examples:

    Il était tout seul - he was all alone
    Elle était toute seule - she was all alone
    Ils étaient tous seuls - they (masc.) were all alone
    Elles étaient toutes seules - they (fem) were all alone.

    Hope that helps.

    LRV
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  5. Gaverz

    Gaverz Senior Member

    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    England, English
    Salut!

    I was wondering if anyone could give me some sort of guidence on when to use the different forms of 'all' (tout) in french: there seem to be so many! Any examples would be much appreciated!

    Merci

    Gaverz
     
  6. CARNESECCHI Senior Member

    Auvergne
    French / France
  7. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    Tout can be either an adjective, a pronoun or an adverb.

    As an adjective, tout agrees with its noun.
    As a pronoun, tout agrees with what it represents.

    . . . . m . . . . f
    sing: tout . toute
    plur: tous . toutes

    Quelqu'un a mangé tout le fromage.
    Il a bu toute une bouteille de pastis.
    Tous les hommes viennent de Mars.
    Toutes les femmes viennent de Vénus.

    As an adverb tout is invariable, unless it's followed by a feminine adjective beginning with a consonant:

    Il est tout petit.
    Ils sont tout petits.
    C'est une tout autre affaire.
    Nous sommes tout heureuses.
    Elle est tout intelligente.

    But:
    Elle est toute petite.
     
  8. Xanthius

    Xanthius Senior Member

    Well, I never knew that... so does that mean:

    il est tout intelligent
    ils sont tout intelligents
    elle est tout intelligente
    elles sont tout intelligentes

    and

    il est tout petit
    ils sont tous petits
    elle est toute petite
    elles sont toutes petites

    Or am I missing the mark?

    Cheers
     
  9. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Belgium/French
    I hope it will help you; it's a tricky matter.
     
  10. Cath.S.

    Cath.S. Senior Member

    Bretagne, France
    français de France
    Un autre exemple :
    Gaverz va être tout content : il a obtenu toutes les réponses qu'il désirait ! :p
     
  11. pHOeBeBB Junior Member

    Hong Kong
    English
    Tous & Tout

    Dear french expert,

    What is the different between these two words?

    Regards,
    Phoebe
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  12. tout - masculin singulier
    tous - masculin pluriel

    Tout le monde
    Tous les enfants
     
  13. Crescent

    Crescent Senior Member

    England
    Russian, (Ukraine)
    I have just one more question on this topic:
    Does the word 'touts' exist at all? Because I have noticed that I've made this mistake several times, writing 'touts' and having it crossed out and written 'tous' instead.
    The reason that I've done this is that somehow (don't ask me how..:( I really don't know how I managed to ''learn'' this) I thought that 'touts' had to stand before masculine plural noun which begins with either a vowel or an H apsiré.
    e.g. touts oeufs
    Am I totally wrong in this case? Would the correct version be ''tous oeufs''?
    Sorry for such a silly question... :(
     
  14. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    The form touts does not exist.

    I cannot think of a case where tous could stand next to the noun it modifies without an article. The singular form, curiously, may do so.

    Tout homme qui me dit cela...
    (Any man who tells me that...)

    But I have only seen tous les œufs..

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  15. unefemme1 Senior Member

    English, New Zealand
    I just wanted to ask something, when do you use "tous" and when do you use "tout"?? I'm a bit confused here... do you use "tous" only if the subject is plural? If someone can clarify this for me with examples that would be great, thanks!
     
  16. MartineC Senior Member

    Portugal
    France
    Bonjour, je peux peut-être vous donner quelques exemples :

    Nous voulons tous aller à la piscine.
    Il a mangé toutes les oranges.
    Nous avons eu du beau temps tous les jours.
    Tous les enfants ont apprécié le repas.
    En général, toutes les petites filles sont coquettes.

    Il est tellement gentil qu'il est prêt à tout donner.
    Tout le monde est disposé à aider cette famille.
    Une mère fait normalement tout pour ses enfants.
    Tout va bien.

    J'espère que cela pourra vous aider.

    MarineC.
     
  17. Leunamme Senior Member

    French, France
    It depends on the nature of the word 'tout'.
    Sometimes, it is an adjective, in which case it agrees with noun in case and gender.
    Tous les enfants (masc plur)
    Tout le temps (masc sing)
    Toute la journée (fem sing)
    Toutes les filles (fem plur)

    Sometimes it is a noun
    Le tout, c'est de réussir. It's only used in the masculine singular in this meaning.

    Sometimes, it is an adverb, and that's where it becomes complicated. It remains invariable in most cases.
    J'ai tout vu.
    Les tout premiers jours. In this particular case, I think you'll find that most people will write it 'les tous premiers jours', even though it's incorrect, but no-one will notice (I do it all the time).
    I hope it helps.
     
  18. BMR

    BMR Senior Member

    Paris
    France
    French speakers have a rule to choice between tout and tous.
    But I don't know if it can be helpful for others ...
    We use tous (or toutes) when we can say tous les ...
    We use tout when we can say n'importe quoi, n'importe lequel, entièrement, ...
     
  19. klodaway

    klodaway Senior Member

    I find the example "les tout premiers jours" interesting, as the rule of choice cannot apply... I guess it is one of the famous "exceptions" of the French language.
    In this case, it can be translated by "very" : "the very first days".
     
  20. BMR

    BMR Senior Member

    Paris
    France
    In this case "my" rule applys : it's not tous les premiers jours but les tout premiers jours as les vraiment premiers jours
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  21. unefemme1 Senior Member

    English, New Zealand
    Ok NOW you've confused me. What's the english meaning of les tout premiers jours? Is it "the first few days"? Or, as suggested above, "the very first days"? If it is, then we shouldn't have the need for "les vraiment premiers jours" should we?? :confused:
     
  22. pripri68 Senior Member

    Strasbourg
    France
    More easy,

    Tous ( devant pluriel masculin) Toutes ( pluriel feminin)
    Tout ( singulier masc) Toute (singulier feminin)

    :-~
     
  23. geve

    geve Senior Member

    France, Paris
    France, French
    Les tout premiers jours = the very first days. :)

    (note: les vraiment premiers jours is not correct French, BMR wrote it to illustrate the meaning ;))
     
  24. jouesgentils12354 Junior Member

    English, U.S.A
    tous, tout, et toutes

    Je jamais sais quand utiliser les trois. Aide-moi!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  25. marget Senior Member

    As adjectives, tout is masculine singular, tous - masculine plural, toutes is feminine plural. Examples: tout le livre, tous les livres, toutes les filles. As pronouns, tout means everything and tous means all of them/all. Examples would be "J'ai tout compris" and "Ils sont tous là."
     
  26. jouesgentils12354 Junior Member

    English, U.S.A
    What would I use for feminine singular.

    "J'ai vu tout de la bibliotheque?"
     
  27. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    Hi :)

    I'll give you a brief run down, I'm sure one of the grammar heavyweights will come and give you something more in depth later.

    tout etc can be used in 2(!) distinct ways :

    1: Adjective
    2: Adverb
    3: pronoun
    for the adjective/pronoun you need to commit to memory the following "table"

    ---------|Singular |Plural.....l
    Masculine|tout......|tous.....|
    Feminine |toute.....|toutes..|
     
  28. Benjy

    Benjy Senior Member

    Milton Keynes, UK
    English - English
    Depends on what you are trying to say :)

    J'ai tout vu dans la bibliotheque, j'ai vu toute la bibliotheque...
     
  29. hamer1970 Senior Member

    US-English
    Does this mean that if I said, "Tout les hommes sont malades" that would be incorrect? Should it be "Tous les hommes"?
     
  30. LaFLEUR

    LaFLEUR Junior Member

    English, Canada
    Bonjour !

    Just wondering, what is the difference between: tous, tout, and toute?

    Tous = plural?
    Toute = feminin?

    Merci !
     
  31. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Wollongong, Australia
    English - Australia
    This borders on a grammar question but I guess it's as much to do with vocab ;)


    Tous = people, plural, masculine

    Tous les soirs = every evening
    Cette mesure n'a pas été acceptée par tous = this measure hasn't been accepted by everyone (all) -- "S" is pronounced.

    Tout = singular, masculine
    Tout le temps = all the time

    Toute = feminine, singular
    Toute la journée = all day

    Toutes = feminine, plural
    Toutes les trois minutes = every three minutes.
     
  32. Xavier11222 Senior Member

    Paris
    France French
    [...]

    Tout can be an adjective, an adverb or a pronoun, and sometimes is a noun, so the different uses and agreements you'll see are ruled by more than just the gender/number issue.

    You can find more from the links listed here:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=18242
     
  33. Kaylaqt314 New Member

    canada, English
    Hello, when exactly do you use the different forms of tous/tout/toutes in sentences?
    Thank you
     
  34. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    In short, tous would be for a countable quantity, tout for a non countable one - or for a group of countable items considered as a whole - and toutes is the feminine form of tous.

    Examples
    Tous les enfants sont prêts (All the children are ready)
    J'ai tout pris (I've taken it all)
    Je les connais tous (I know all of them)
    Toutes les filles sont parties (all the girls have left)
     
  35. mnewcomb71 Senior Member

    Detroit, MI
    USA - English
    tout = all m.s
    tous = all m.p
    toute = all f.s
    toutes = all f.p
     
  36. Kallisti Junior Member

    Athens
    Greece
    Hi there again! My question this time has to do with the word TOUT!
    I’ve understood so far that TOUT is the masc. singular – TOUTE the fem. sing. – TOUS the masc. plural & TOUTES the fem. plural. All ok so far.

    But being a beginner, I see various crazy stuff all around such as “touts les conforts”, “touse la ville”, “touses les étudiantes”, “touses les trois” (instead of tous les trois),je suis touse seule” etc… confusing me even more than I already am !

    Anyone can bother to untangle all this for me, pliiiiiz??
     
  37. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Belgium/French
    The only valid forms are "tout", "tous", "toute" and "toutes"
     
  38. SaintGerm Senior Member

    France
    France / French
    All incorrect.
     
  39. Kallisti Junior Member

    Athens
    Greece
    So....... all the rest is crap? They're just mistakes or printer's errors? I couldn't imagine that since I've seen all those in quite reliable sources.....
     
  40. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Belgium/French
    Could you state those sources?
    But I concur: they're crap! :)
     
  41. Kallisti Junior Member

    Athens
    Greece
    Of course!
    The first & most obvious source is the French-English Tranlator of Microsoft Word!! If you type the word TOUT in the French-English Translator of a simple Word document, most of the above-mentioned will come out as results (touse la ville all the city, the whole city, touses les villes all cities; touses les villes que … all the cities that …; tous Français every Frenchman, all Frenchmen; tous les deux jours every two days, every other day; tous les ans every year; tous/touses les trois, nous … all three of us …; tous Paris all Paris.....................)

    I just copy-pasted only a few of them! Take a look & see for yourselves
     
  42. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Belgium/French
    Those translators are not to be trusted, you know... :(
     
  43. Westley12 New Member

    London UK
    UK English
    Bonjour!
    I've read this entire thread and I'm still not sure......I have a three line stanza...Tout(e) seul(e), en silence, tu pleures. I think it should be feminine, 'e's included, but can somebody confirm? I really don't want to get this wrong. Oh the 'tu' is directed at a female.
     
  44. itka Senior Member

    France
    français
    The 'tu' is directed at a female :
    So : "Toute seule, en silence, tu pleures." :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  45. Pure_Yvesil

    Pure_Yvesil Senior Member

    I do not agree with "ils étaient TOUS seuls" as in: "they were ALL alone"...I would translate this as: "all of them were alone"

    il s'agit d'un adverbe: Adverbe, il a le sens de tout à fait, entièrement, complètement ; il est alors invariable

    BUT

    quand tout précède un adjectif féminin commençant par une consonne ou un h aspiré, il s'accorde avec lui. C'est le seul adverbe qui peut varier:
    - des fillettes
    toutes rouges et toutes
    honteuses...
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  46. Tararam Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Why is "le tout premier" not grammatically correct?
     
  47. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    It is grammatically correct! :)

    Le tout premier = the very first, when you speak of one single thing that is grammatically masculine
     
  48. Pure_Yvesil

    Pure_Yvesil Senior Member

    Hm, reading this post I must say I ended up confused myself...
    Am I correct in assuming the following:

    -Ils étaient tout seuls : they were all alone
    -elles étaient toutes seules: : " " " "

    the rule states that "tout" should be modified when used as an adverb in front of an adjective that is "féminin ou commençant par un h-aspiré"


    -Ils étaient tous seuls: all of them were alone: here "tout" is not used as an adverb, but as an adjective no?
     
  49. jann

    jann co-mod'

    English - USA
    I think you have it more or less straight, Pure_Yvesil, but just to prevent all ambiguity: :)

    Ils étaient tout seuls - they were completely alone. (adverb)
    Ils étaient tous seuls; Tous étaient seuls - all of them were alone (pronoun - but this sentence isn't very logical, because each should be alone, not "all").
    Tous les hommes étaient seuls - All of the men were alone (adjective)


    The rules are confusing, because this word can have so many different grammatical functions.
    1. "Tout" is a masculine singular noun that means "everything"
    .....Il a tout fait ; tout est prêt !

    2. "Tout/tous/toute/toutes" is an adjective that means "all," "every," or "whole/entire." Like any adjective, it agrees in number and gender with the noun it modifies.
    .....On a volé tous mes crayons et toutes mes gommes ! = Someone stole all my pencils and all my erasers
    ....
    Je vais lire toute l'histoire. = I'm going to read the whole/entire story.
    .....Tout homme est mortel. = Every man is mortal.
    .....Il chante toute la journée. = He sings all day (long)

    3. "Tous" and "toutes" are pronouns that mean "all (of them)" or "everyone"
    Like any pronoun, it has the number and gender of the noun it replaces. Since "all" is by definition plural, it is logical that there is no singular form for this pronoun.
    .....Ils ont tous fait la même erreur, Tous ont fait la même erreur. = Everyone / They all of them made the same mistake.
    .....Toutes étaient très belles. = All of them (f.) were very beautiful, they were all very beautiful.
    .....Nous le ferrons tous les quatre. = All four of us will do it.
    .....Ils sont tous étonnés de te voir. = They (m.) are all of them astonished to see you.
    .....Elles sont toutes contentes de te voir. = They (f.) are all of them happy to see you.

    4. Tout is an adverb that means "entirely," "completely," or "quite." Adverbs are invariable... but "tout" has an exception, which comes about for phonetic reasons: so when the adverb "tout" is followed by a feminine adjective that starts with a consonant or an aspirate H, it will agree in number and gender with the adjective.
    ..... Ils sont tout étonnés de te voir. = They are quite astonished to see you.
    ..... Ils sont tout contents de te voir. = They are quite happy to see you.
    ..... Elle est tout étonnée de te voir.
    ..... Elles sont tout étonnées de te voir.
    ..... Elle est toute contente de te voir.
    ..... Elles sont toutes contentes de te voir. - (note that this last example is indistinguishable from the final example in category #3)​
    Does this help? :)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  50. JamrockFrench New Member

    Englsih-Jamaica
    tout vs tous

    J'ai un problème avec les deux.

    Peut qqn me les expliquer svp?

    Merci en avance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

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