In the examples above we use tout in front of "heureuse" which is feminine and use toute in front of "hérissée ". We do the same for heureuses and honteuses.
What is the difference exactly for these two usages of tout and toute ?
The lesson states: "As you can see, in such cases, tout becomes toute in front of feminine adjectives, but only when they start with a consonant or an aspirated h."
Heureuse doesn't start with an aspirated h, hence it is: tout heureuse.Hérissée starts with an aspirated h, therefore it is toute hérissée.
It's a weird rule, this, and quite confusing, which I think explains why Chris got the examples back to front and Céline didn't notice.
Did I get it mixed up? Heureux doesn't start with an h aspiré, it starts with an h muet. And hérissé does start with an h aspiré. Isn't that what's written in my response or am I tricking myself?
Whether the rule is weird or not, it follows suit with the general rule of treating the h-aspiré as a sounding consonant. Therefore, it is le haricot et le héros and tout hérissé. In the case of h-muet (l'heure, l'herbe, etc.), you would have two vowel sounds next to each other: "tou(t) (h)eureux". It makes sense to transform this into "toute heureux". Changing gender already has a long tradition in French, as long as it severs easier pronunciation: mon idée, etc.
You only need toute when it does start with an h aspiré. (With h muet you get the correct pronunciation because of the liaison.)
La fourrure de ma chatte Minette est toute hérissée !
Sa sœur est tout heureuse de sa nouvelle maison.
(Also heureux and hérissé are masculine, so they're not affected by this rule.)
The rule is not about making the pronunciation easier, it's about making the feminine pronunciation always "toot". But it seems odd to me, because there is no corresponding attempt to ensure that the masculine pronunciation is always "too".
You've still got them back to front, Chris. It should be:
Heureuse doesn't start with an aspirated h, hence it is: tout heureuse.
Hérissée starts with an aspirated h, therefore it is toute hérissée.
Dang! Now that I think of it more, this really is a weird rule. Now, I wonder how many French native speakers get that right.
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