In the lesson you give the following example:
Mes amis sont venus et tous étaient contents.
But if we change the gender, are these three examples correct?
Mes amies sont venues et toutes étaient contentes. (all of them were happy)
Mes amies sont venues et elles étaient toutes contentes. (they were all happy)
Mes amies sont venues et elles étaient tout contentes. (they were very happy)
Thanks for all your work on this subject. This lesson is long but it's the most comprehensive explanation I've found.
Thank you all for answering this question. @John, I agree that it IS a complex subject! This has been a very interesting question to research for the French team ;-)
So, when the adverb 'tout' (= very / completely) is followed by a feminine plural adjective that starts with a consonant (such as 'contentes') or an aspirated 'h' ('honteuses'), it should agree in gender and in number with the adjective -> toutes.
The lesson has now been reviewed and updated to factor this in. There is now a table explaining the different agreements when 'tout' (adverb) is followed by a feminine adjective.
I hope this is helpful.
Bonne journée !
The three examples you quote seem correct to me.
The last one is wrong, I think. According to the lesson it should be "toute" because:
"But here, exceptionally, tout will agree in gender only, and in a very specific manner." etc.
But according to other grammar books it should also agree in number, so I think it should be "toutes".
Yes, you're right.
Thanks Alan and Chris. My last example is wrong and I misread the exception. There are examples above with plurals that show the correct feminine form in the plural, and this is the ONLY form available before a consonant or aspirant h. The exception means there is only one way to say both "the women were very happy," and/or "all of them (the women) were happy": "...elles étaient toutes contentes."
With masculine sentences in the plural we can intensify the adjective ("very" happy) or indicate "all of them" by using different forms of tout regardless of the first letter of the following word.
"Ils sont tout émus, ils sont tous émus, ils sont tout contents", and "ils sont tous contents" are all correct.
Quite a complex subject, even without discussing pronounciation and the list of words beginning with H.
Sign in to submit your answer
Don't have an account yet? Join today
Test your French to the CEFR standard