Tout, tous, toute, toutes = Everything, all (of them), the whole

There are different ways to use tout in French - as a pronoun or an adjective - to express slightly different things:

Tout  =  everything

Tout m'ennuie.
Everything bores me.

Je comprends tout.
I understand everything.

Used on its own, the invariable pronoun tout means everything.

 

Tout/tous/toute/toutes [chose(s)] = All [things] / the whole [thing(s)]

Toute la journée, mon chat dort.

All (of the) day/ the whole day long, my cat sleeps.

J'ai mangé tout le gâteau.
I ate all the cake. / I ate the whole cake.

Toutes mes soeurs sont très énervantes!
All my sisters are really annoying!

Je trouve tous les pays intéressants.
I find all countries interesting.

To say all (the) [things] or the whole [thing], you will use the adjective tout, as follows :

tout/tous/toute/toutes + article + noun

Note that as an adjectivetout agrees in gender and number with the thing it refers to, as such:

  Masculine Feminine
Singular    tout
toute
Plural tous
toutes
In this case, tous is always pronounced [too]: the -s is silent.


Tous / toutes  = all [of them]

Used on their own, pronouns tous or toutes replace prementioned nouns.
As such, tous/toutes agrees in gender with the thing they're replacing (it always expresses a plural quantity!).

Tous/toutes can be used either as:

- the subject of the verb = All [of them] did that.

Les garçons ont passé leur examen et tous l'ont eu.

The boys took their exams and all of them passed .

On regardait les lucioles, et soudain toutes ont disparu.
We were watching the fireflies, and suddenly all of them disappeared.

Mes amis sont venus et tous étaient contents.
My friends came and all were happy.

- a complement to the existing plural subject They all did that. 

Mes amis sont venus et ils étaient tous contents.
My friends came and they were all happy.

Les garçons ont passé leur examen et ils l'ont tous eu.
The boys took their exams and they all passed .

On regardait les lucioles, et soudain elles ont toutes disparu.
We were watching the fireflies, and suddenly they all disappeared.

In this last case, tous/toutes is placed after the verb in simple tenses, or between the auxiliary and the past participle in complex tenses.
In this case, tous is always pronounced [toos], to differenciate it from tout (everything)!

 

Pronounciation guide

Tout (masc. sg.) => [too]

Tous (masc. pl.) => [too] or [toos] depending on usage: see above.

Toute (fem. sg.) => [toot]

Toutes (fem. pl.) => [toot] (the -s is always silent, even when followed by a vowel: NO liaison!)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Les garçons ont passé leur examen et ils l'ont tous eu.
The boys took their exams and they all passed .


Tout m'ennuie.
Everything bores me.


Je trouve tous les pays intéressants.
I find all countries interesting.


J'ai mangé tout le gâteau.
I ate all the cake. / I ate the whole cake.


Mes amis sont venus et tous étaient contents.
My friends came and all were happy.


Toutes mes soeurs sont très énervantes!
All my sisters are really annoying!


Toute la journée, mon chat dort.

All (of the) day/ the whole day long, my cat sleeps.


Mes amis sont venus et ils étaient tous contents.
My friends came and they were all happy.


On regardait les lucioles, et soudain toutes ont disparu.
We were watching the fireflies, and suddenly all of them disappeared.


Les garçons ont passé leur examen et tous l'ont eu.

The boys took their exams and all of them passed .


On regardait les lucioles, et soudain elles ont toutes disparu.
We were watching the fireflies, and suddenly they all disappeared.


Je comprends tout.
I understand everything.


Q&A

Sagar

Kwiziq community member

25 January 2019

2 replies

Pronouncing "tous"

When you write: 

In this case, tous is always pronounced [toos], to differentiate it from tout (everything)!

--do you mean in both of the following cases?

1. as pronouns to replace a pre-mentioned noun

2. as compliments to an existing plural subject

?

Merci!

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 March 2019

23/03/19

Hi Sagar,

‘Tous’ is pronounced ‘toos’ when it means all of them ....

Sagar

Kwiziq community member

12 April 2019

12/04/19

Merci, Cécile ! Je vous comprends parfaitement.

Joan

Kwiziq community member

10 January 2019

0 replies

Tous as adjective or pronouns?

1) Ce sont tous mes meubles =These are all of my furniture or All these are my furniture? 'Tous' is pronouns or adjective in this sentence?

2) Can 'All these are my furniture' be translated as 'Tous ceux sont mes meunibles'? Is 'tous' an adjective in this sentence?

3) Can 'all of you' be translated as 'vous tous', eg: 'Vous tous pouvez manger les pommes'? Is tous a pronouns in this sentence?

Thanks!!

Robin

Kwiziq community member

2 January 2019

2 replies

some word combinations use liason and others do not?

In this same example in the audio, I am wondering why "... toutes ont disparu" runs the "t" into the "ont", instead of the last letter consonent "s" into the "ont".   I see this on and off but haven't found a lesson on the topic yet.  Merci!

On regardait les lucioles, et soudain toutes ont disparu.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

3 January 2019

3/01/19

HI Robin,

 A factual lesson on liaisons is top of my To-Do list....

Robin

Kwiziq community member

3 January 2019

3/01/19

Thank you so much.  I will look forward to that one. 

I was rereading the phrase in question and now to me it looks like maybe I'm hearing no liason (toutes and ont pronounced separately). 

Fortunately, for me you already have enough learning opportunities to keep me busy for hundreds and hundreds of hours but I look forward to seeing the new lesson! 

Merci.

Robin

Kwiziq community member

2 January 2019

2 replies

Soudain vs. soudainement?

In this example, I am wondering why soudainement is not used (adding "ment" to the feminine version of an adjective).

I am looking at this sentence and soudain seems to be used as an adverb/is that why no "ment".  If so would you please provide me with an example where soudainement might be used?  Many thanks. 

On regardait les lucioles, et soudain toutes ont disparu.

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

5 January 2019

5/01/19

That's an interesting question Robin...

Soudain, can be an adjective and an adverb and will  mostly be used on its own to mean - tout à coup, subitement  (all of a sudden) .

e.g.

J'écrivais une lettre à Marie quand soudain, j'ai entendu un cri violent = I was writing a letter to Marie when suddenly, I heard a violent scream

J'ai eu une douleur soudaine dans le dos I had a sudden pain in my back

Soudainement is an adverb and  will normally follow a verb.

e.g.

Le vent se leva soudainement à la plage = The wind rose suddenly on the beach

La rivière a débordé soudainement The river overflowed suddenly 

Hope this helps!

Robin

Kwiziq community member

5 January 2019

5/01/19

Thank you for this excellent explanation!

Melisa

Kwiziq community member

10 October 2018

3 replies

Isn't this example a contradiction?

It says tous (as a complement to the plural subject) is always pronounced [toos], to differenciate it from tout but right above that it gives the example, "Mes amis sont venus et ils étaient tous contents." and pronounces it too. This is an example using tous as a complement to the subject amis, isn't it? Shouldn't it be pronounced toos? It's very confusing.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

10 October 2018

10/10/18

Yes, in this example "tous" should be pronounced with the trailing s. 

Aurélie

Kwiziq language super star

12 October 2018

12/10/18

Bonjour Melisa !

Indeed, this example was badly recorded, and thanks to you, it's now been fixed :)

The "s" in "tous" here is definitely pronounced!

Merci et bonne journée ! 

Melisa

Kwiziq community member

13 October 2018

13/10/18

Thanks for fixing it!

John

Kwiziq community member

18 September 2018

2 replies

"On regardait les lucioles, et soudain elles ont toutes disparu.+

Is it necessary to use "toutes" in this sentence, or can one just say "...et soudain elles ont disparu?  Does it change the meaning somehow?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2018

19/09/18

Yes, you can omit toutes, but the statement would be weakened. Toutes insists that all the fireflies disappeared.

John

Kwiziq community member

19 September 2018

19/09/18

Merci pour votre réponse

Olena

Kwiziq community member

17 August 2018

1 reply

Question about question in a test

"Les pommes ? Anne les a ___ mangées."

Isn't it "a mangé"?

Chris

Kwiziq community member

17 August 2018

17/08/18

No, if the direct object (les) comes before the participle (mangées) the participle is matched to the object (feminine plural, because of les pommes). 

Suzanne

Kwiziq community member

15 August 2018

2 replies

and 2, I have heard before that if you crete a notebook, you can test just on that topic but I have never found a test attached to it or a link.

Chris

Kwiziq community member

16 August 2018

16/08/18

The way I used notebooks was just so that I could test for specific lessons and topics. I looked at my brainmap and picked out lessons that I still needed practice on. Or I used the library for topic selection. Once I had the right lessons in my notebook I clicked "Test your knowledge" on the notebook page.

-- Chris.

Suzanne

Kwiziq community member

18 August 2018

18/08/18

Merci!

Suzanne

Kwiziq community member

15 August 2018

1 reply

TOO, silent S - but which case are they talking about? And when I listen to the speaker, they say TOOS when there is a vowel. and 2)

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 August 2018

23/08/18

Hi Suzanne

Tous is pronounced differently whether it is an adjective ((too) or a pronoun (toos) but this might be better highlighted with examples. - 

1. Tous -you don't pronounce the 's' - 'too'

Tous mes copains = All my friends

Tous les pays du monde = All the countries in the world

Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge = All the boys and girls of my age

( beautiful song from Françoise Hardy!)

2. Tous - the 's' is pronounced - 'toos'

Bonjour à tous! Hello everyone!

Ils sont tous gentils = They are all nice

Tous ensemble! = All together!

Hope this clarifies matters a bit...

Suzanne

Kwiziq community member

15 August 2018

1 reply

I have red the thread. I have 2 comments. on the pronunciation of tous - the lesson makes a point of saying "in this case, it is always pronounced TO

Cécile

Kwiziq language super star

23 August 2018

23/08/18

already answered ...
Getting that for you now.