tous (prononciation & liaison)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by KittyCatty, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. KittyCatty

    KittyCatty Senior Member

    English UK
    Moderator note: several threads have been merged to create this one

    For a discussion of the grammatical aspects of tous (pronoun vs. adjective) please refer to this thread: FR: tout / toute / tous / toutes

    following on the same lines as the thread about the pronunciation of letters, when does one pronounce the s at the end of tous? my french exchange family did but i had never learnt to do this, and didn't know when i should or should not do this. thanks/merci en avance, KittyCatty xxxxx
  2. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    Tous can be a pronoun or an adjective:

    - J'ai mangé tous les gâteaux ! (adjective)
    - Les gâteaux ? Je les ai tous mangés ! (pronoun)

    When it is an adjective, the s stays mute (too les)
    When it is a pronoun, the s is pronounced (toos mangés)

    You could memorize it that way: pronoun = pronounced ;)
  3. englishman Senior Member

    English England
    Is there a simple rule that explains when to pronounce "tous" like "too" (à l'anglais) and when to pronounce it like "toos".

    This is baffling me, and I suspect it's quite obvious.
  4. heydzatsmi Senior Member

    yesat the end of the sentence :
    nous tous.
    and when the word after tous begin with a voyel :
    Tous égaux / Nous irons tous au bois.....

    But when we say :
    Nous sommes tous là we say toos....

    So there are surely a lot of exceptions............
  5. marget Senior Member

    I believe there is a rule. The final "s" of tous is not pronounced when it is used as an adjective. "Je connais tous les étudiants. It is pronounced, however, when it is used as a pronoun. Je les connais tous.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2012
  6. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    You're perfectly right !
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2012
  7. caserfacer Member

    Paris, France
    English, United States
    Quelquefois on prononce le "s" à la fin de "tous" aussi. Est-ce qu'il y a quelqu'un qui peut m'expliquer quand? merci!
  8. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    Yes, when it's a pronoun.

    Je les ai tous vus. [tus]
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2012
  9. coiffe

    coiffe Senior Member

    English (USA)
    I have a pronunciation question, for which I apologize ahead of time, but I can't find anything on it in my two grammar books.

    I know that tous is sometimes pronounced "tousse", and sometimes like "tout". When is it pronounced the one way and not the other?

    I believe Tous sont ici is pronounced like "tousse". But I wonder what the rule is -- it must be simple. I believe it is that when tous is used as a pronoun, it is pronounced "tousse." But is there more to it -- or is that even correct?

    Merci en avance --
  10. broglet

    broglet Senior Member

    English - England
    I think the final 's' is only pronounced when it is used for 'everyone' - but I'd be interested to hear the truth from a French native speaker!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2012
  11. coiffe

    coiffe Senior Member

    English (USA)
    Yes, the "everyone" is the indefinite pronoun use of tous, I'm sure you're right but I would also like to hear it confirmed by a native speaker!
  12. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Yes, you're right, "tous" in the meaning of "everyone", or rather "all of them" is pronounced [touss(e)] (you don't pronounce the 'e' at the end)
  13. coiffe

    coiffe Senior Member

    English (USA)
    And that's the only time it's pronounced like that?
  14. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    No other instance comes to my mind...
  15. Fez Member

    English, Australia
    Hi! Just a pronunciation question about the word "tous"

    In the following sentence, is "tous" pronounced with the "s" or without it?: Tous les hotels.

    In practice I'm not sure when to pronounce the "s" so if anyone could give me a rule for this, that would be great

    Thanks in advance,
  16. Einstein37 Member

    Canada, French
    When «tous» is alone, you pronounce the s
    When «tous» is followed by other words in the same sentence, you dont pronounce it.
    For example: Je les aime tous (you pronounce the s)
    J'aime tous les animaux (you dont pronounce it)

    I hope this could help you!
  17. Fospia

    Fospia Senior Member

    English (United States) and Spanish (Cub
    When does one pronounce the "s" in tous, if one does at all?
  18. RuK Senior Member

    Outside Paris
    English/lives France
    I'm having trouble conceiving of a standard rule.

    On a tous été jeune, pronounce the ss.
    Tous les jouets, tous les jours - don't pronounce it.
  19. Mezzofanti Senior Member

    Near Bordeaux, France
    Native speaker of pukka UK English
    The s is silent in the adjectival use but pronounced when the word is a pronoun.
  20. Mezzofanti Senior Member

    Near Bordeaux, France
    Native speaker of pukka UK English
    I don't think so. On a tous été jeune and on a tous mangé de la vache enragée ont le "s" prononcé. The effect of a following vowel, inducing a liaison, would give the prononciation "z" rather then "ss".
  21. caloune Senior Member

    FRANCE - French
    Einstein37 (# 20) is almost right, but he forgot one case in which you have to prononce the final "s" in tous

    The rule is not just a matter of tous being alone or followed by other words.
    It also depends if tous refers to the direct object of the sentence: tous les = all (all of them) or to its subject in the plural form: nous = us

    Let's study 3 examples:
    1°) "Nous aimons tous les animaux" = We like all animals
    tous refers to the direct object (all of them) but is followed by other words : you don't pronounce the final "s"
    2°) "Les animaux, nous les aimons tous"= Animals, we like them all
    tous refers to the direct object (all of them) and is the last word of the sentence: you do pronounce the final "s"
    3°) "Nous aimons tous les animaux" = All of us, we do like animals
    tous refers to the subject (all of us), and despite that tous is followed by other words, you do have to pronounce the final "s" otherwise the sentence will be understood as refering to the direct object <=> Example 1

    So, in the sentence: "Nous aimons tous tous les animaux" = All of us, we do like all animals
    the first tous: you pronounce the "s" (refers to the subject)
    the second tous: you don't pronounce the "s" (refers to the direct object and is followed by other words)

    This sentence is interesting, because there is absolutely no reason, in regard of french grammar, for what the final "s" of tous is sometimes pronounced and sometimes not !! (logically, the final "s" should be pronounced in all cases)
    The rather strange case N°1 exists precisely to make a difference between tous refering to the subject or to the direct object, in the aim to make the meaning of the sentence understable for sure.

    What is even stanger is that in the female form (toutes), you don't have this difference !!
    For example, if you say: "Nous aimons toutes les baleines" (baleine = whale is female gender in french), even for a french-speaking person it is absolutely impossible to know if the sentence means:
    We like all whales
    All of us, we like whales
    Sometimes, when earing such a sentence, you will have to ask for a confirmation: "By all, do you mean whales or you (the girls talking for example) ???". Without an answer, you cannot decide !
    That is why, in such a case, and to make sure that you will be clearly understood, you would probably say: "Nous aimons toutes toutes les baleines"

    French is such a surprising language...!
    Good luck :D
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  22. yuechu Senior Member

    Canada, English

    J'aimerais savoir comment se prononce le mot "tous" dans l'expression "de tous horizons". Est-ce que c'est [tu] ou [tuz] ? (avec ou sans liaison ?)
    Est-ce que c'est une abréviation pour "tous les horizons" ?

    Merci d'avance !
  23. joshuajohnlee

    joshuajohnlee New Member

    Nancy, France
    I would pronounce it [tus], as if horizons starts with an "s" itself.
  24. aerach Senior Member

    français (vosgien)
    Ça se prononce : [dətuzoʁizõ]
  25. yuechu Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Merci pour votre réponse, aerach ! C'est bien avec un [z]
    joshuajohnlee : avec , ça change le sens du mot, je crois. ("tous" se prononce [tus] seulement dans le sens de "tout le monde", à ma connaissance)

    Est-ce que c'est une liaison obligatoire ou facultative ?
  26. Miya Tenaka New Member

    French - Switzerland
    Avec la liaison, comme si "horizons" commençait par un z.

    Dans le cas précis la liaison est obligatoire, car c'est une locution fixe (comme si c'était un seul mot).
  27. letitavion New Member

    English (Canada)

    Il paraît que 'tous' se prononce quelquefois avec un S muet, et quelquefois avec un S prononcé. Le dictionnaire dit qu'avec un S muet, 'tous' est un adjectif, et qu'avec un S prononcé, c'est un pronom.

    Est-ce que ça veut dire que 'tous les deux' se prononce avec un S à la fin? Je ne suis pas sûr. De mon côté, je comprends que si on dit 'j'aime tous les tapis' le S est muet et si on dit 'bonjour à tous' il se prononce.

    Merci en avance! Je prépare un petit discours pour mon école.

  28. Nicomon

    Nicomon Senior Member

    Français, Québec ♀
    Salut letitavion,

    On ne prononce pas le « s » de « tous » dans « tous les deux ».

    Et bravo pour ton excellent parfait. :)
  29. angea Senior Member

    Hi people, so I am confused: when do you pronounce tous as /tus/ and
    when as /tu/? I heard people saying sometimes /tus/ and sometimes
    /tu/. My grammar simply says that it's always /tus/. The dictionary
    says, it can be both, but never says when and how. Please, help!
  30. lectrice Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada

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