Everything About the French Tout & Pronunciation of Tous (2023)

When do you write tout, tous, toute ou toutes ? When is the S of “tous” pronounced: when is it “tousss” or “tou”?

The reason why “tous” is pronounced differently is grammatical. The word “tout” has different grammatical values in French : it can be an indefinite adjective, an adverb, a noun, an indefinite pronoun or a neutral pronoun. In this article, I’ll explain “everything” (pun intended) clearly, with many examples.

I’ll start this lesson with a tip on when to pronounce the S of “Tous”.

Table of Contents

When do you Pronounce the S of Tous ?

Tout, Toute, Tous, Toutes = French Indefinite Adjective

What is an “Indefinite” Adjective?

French Pronunciation of Tout – Indefinite Adjective

Expressions Using Tout – Indefinite Adjective

(Video) Practise your French TOUT - "Tout, toutes, tous, toute"

Tous, Toutes = Indefinite Pronoun

Tout = Noun

Tout = Neutral Pronoun

Tout = Adverb

Contrast the use of “tout” indefinite pronoun versus “tout” adverb

When Tout Sounds Like Toute…

Maintenant, vous savez tout sur tout !!

(Video) Tout Toute Tous Toutes in French - Difference, Rules & Examples | French Grammar 🇫🇷

When do you Pronounce the S of Tous ?

This is a shortcut: I’m sure you’ll find examples when this doesn’t work, but it will help you out.

  1. When “tous” is at the end of the sentence, The S is pronounced
    Je l’ai acheté pour nous tous : I bought it for all of us –“tous” is pronounced “toossss”, the S is pronounced
  2. When “tous” is after a verb, the S is pronounced
    Nous sommes tous là: all of us are here – “tous” is pronounced “toossss”, the S is pronounced
  3. When “tous” is followed by “les”, so with “tous les” the S is silent
    Tous les jours: every day – “tous” is pronounced “too”, the S is silent
  4. There are other occasions of course
    Tous pour un et un pour tous: one for all and all for one – Both “tous” are pronounced “toossss”, the S is pronounced

And since we are on the “tout” pronunciation subject…

  • Tout – spelled this way, with a T at the end, is always pronounced “too”.
    The T is silent (but watch out, there may be a liaison involved…)
  • Toute and Toutes – so Te or Tes at the end, are always pronounced “toot”.
    The T is pronounced because it is followed by a vowel.
    The E and the S are silent.
    If you don’t understand what a liaison is or why the final E and S are silent, you shouldstudyFrench pronunciation, since this is pretty basic.

Now if you want to understand why you pronounce (or not) the S of “tous”, read the explanation below – it’s not that hard to follow, I promise!

Everything About the French Tout & Pronunciation of Tous (1)

Secrets of French Pronunciation

In-depth audiobook covering the foundations as well as the difficulties of today’s French pronunciation

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(Video) Tout, toute, tous, toutes in French

Tout, Toute, Tous, Toutes = French Indefinite Adjective

What is an “Indefinite” Adjective?

An adjective is a word which adds some meaning to another word, usually a noun or a pronoun. Like a color for example.

“Indefinite” is a grammatical term which means “non-specific”.

So, as an adjective, “blue” for example is quite specific. “Most” or “several” are examples of indefinite adjectives in English. They give a notion of quantity, but it’s not specific.

When used as an indefinite adjective, “tout” modifies a noun, introduced (or not) by an article, a possessive or demonstrative adjective, or a pronoun.

In other words, when you have “tout le”, “toute la”, “tous les”, or “toutes les”, it’s likely that you are using an indefinite adjective…

French Pronunciation of Tout – Indefinite Adjective

As an indefinite adjective, “tout” as four forms in French

  1. Tout (t silent – too) + masculine singular word
    Tout le monde = everybody
  2. Toute (t pronounced – toot) + feminine singular word
    Toute la journée = all day long
  3. Tous (s SILENT – too) + masculine plural word
    Tous les jours = every day
  4. Toutes (t pronounced – toot) + feminine plural word
    Toutes les commandes = all the orders

Expressions Using Tout – Indefinite Adjective

Tout as a French indefinite adjective is part of many expressions:

  1. Tous les 36 du mois = once in a blue moon (too)
  2. Prendre tout son temps = to take one’s sweet time (too)
  3. Toutes taxes comprises (TTC) = tax included (toot)
  4. En tout cas = in any case (too)
  5. Tous les deux jours = every other day (too)

Tous, Toutes = Indefinite Pronoun

What is an Indefinite Pronoun?

A pronoun is a word which replaces another word, usually a noun. For example, instead of repeating my name “Camille”, I use the subject pronoun “I”. I could also use “Me”, another kind of pronoun.

Knowing the grammatical function of the word you want to replace is key to choosing the right pronoun. Translating English to French is not going to work: you first need to know “what” (meaning the grammar role of the word) you want to replace.

Read my blog article about French pronouns to understand this concept better.

And we talked about “indefinite” above: it means non-specific.

French Pronunciation of Tous or Toutes – Indefinite Pronoun

When used as an indefinite pronoun, there are only two forms:

  1. Tous” (S PRONOUNCED = toossss)
  2. “Toutes” (t pronounced, toot).

It means “everyone” or “all of us, all of them, all of you”, and always replaces several persons (not one person, and not things).

These pronouns often go after a verb.

It will make more sense with the examples:

  1. Vous êtes tous là = everybody is here, you all have arrived– S pronounced “tousssss”
  2. Vous avez tous choisi = everybody has made a choice, all of you have made their choices – S pronounced “tousssss”
  3. Ils commencent tous à boire = they all start to drink – S pronounced “tousssss”
  4. Tous pour un et un pour tous = all for one and one for all– S pronounced “tousssss”
  5. Elles ont toutes une bague = everyone of them (feminine) has a ring

Tout = Noun

“Le tout” is a masculine noun meaning “the whole thing”, “the entire thing”.

It’s pronounced “too”.

(Video) All You Need to Know About “Tout”

  • Le tout représente beaucoup d’argent – the whole thing adds up to be a lot of money.


Now you pretty much know all you really need to know about “tout” and its pronunciation.

What follows is quite advanced grammar…

Tout = Neutral Pronoun

I cannot tell you simply what a “neutral” “pronoun” means because to me, these two words together don’t really make sense… But it’s a grammatical term, so, I have to use it here (and chances are you’d have to learn it for your French class…)

When used as a neutral pronoun, “tout” replaces a thing, never a person.

“Tout” – neutral pronoun – has only one form: “tout” pronounced “too”.

It means “all” or “everything”:

  1. C’est tout = that’s all
  2. Tout va bien = everything is fine
  3. Je comprends tout = I understand it all / I understand everything
  4. Merci pour tout = thank you for everything

Tout = Adverb

An adverb is yet another word which modifies a word! An adverb doesn’t modify a noun or pronoun (adjectives do). An adverb modifies a verb (it “ads” to the verb, like “quickly” in English), an adjective or another adverb.

“Tout” is used as an adverb when it is in front of an adjective (except possessive and demonstrative adjectives, as seen above, in this case “tout” is an indefinite adjective) or another adverb.

It means “extremely, entirely”.

As an adverb, “tout” is invariable, it has only one form: “tout” pronounced “too”.

  • Ils sont tout contents d’être ici – they are absolutely happy to be here

Note that when “tout” comes before a feminine adjective starting with a consonant or a pronounced H, then it becomes “toute” or “toutes”, both pronounced “toot”.
This is a big exception for an adverb, which usually has only one form, and quite an advanced and confusing concept (I am positive most French people don’t know that rule).

  • Elles sont toutes contentes d’être ici – they are absolutely happy to be here.

Contrast the use of “tout” indefinite pronoun versus “tout” adverb

This is so subtle…

  1. Ils sont tous contents d’être ici – all of them are happy to be here.
    “Tous” is an indefinite pronoun, it replaces a bunch a people and it’s pronounced “toos“.
  2. Ils sont tout contents d’être ici – they are extremely happy to be here.
    “Tout” is an adverb, it modifies the adjective “contents” and it’s pronounced “too”.

When Tout Sounds Like Toute…

Now, this has to do with spoken French and modern French pronunciation

When “tout” is followed by “de”, and we speak fast, the two words are going to glide together and sound like “toot”, making it sound like you said “toute(s)”.. Confusing right?

  • Je reviens tout de suite – I’ll be right back

Maintenant, vous savez tout sur tout !!

Tout is explained in depth, with audio, many examples, exercises and then illustrated by a story (loaded with “tout” examples in context) in my French learning audio method À Moi Paris level 3.

For this concept as in everything in French, I believe that learning in context is super important: you need to develop a sense, an “ear” for “tout” and its pronunciation.

When the French speak French, they don’t analyse the grammatical structure of the sentence! We don’t know whether we’re using a pronoun, an adjective or an adverb! We just know the correct pronunciation of “tous” (too or toos), because we’ve repeated the sentences enough that we know what sounds right.

Once you’ve understood the grammar rules, you too need to develop your French ear. And French Today’s audiobooks are the best way to do it!

(Video) tout ou tous ?! Find out how to say "all" in French! - A2 [with Céline]


What is the difference between Tous and toutes in French? ›

As you might guess, the word tout is masculine and singular. That means it is used when it modifies masculine, singular words. Consequently, tout becomes tous when modifying masculine plural forms, and toute and toutes modify feminine singular and feminine plural forms, respectively.

What is the meaning of Tous in French? ›

Tout/tous/toute/toutes = Everything/all (of them)/whole/completely in French.

Why do you pronounce the S in Tous in French? ›

We pronounce the s at the end of tous when there is no noun after it. In this case, it means 'everybody' (or 'all of them').

Do you pronounce the S in tous French? ›

Used as a pronoun, « tous » is pronounced « tooss », with pronouncing the final “s” sound. In summary, you only pronounce the “s” when “tous” is a pronoun so when it replaces someone or something.

What does Bonjour a tous? ›

French <> English translation of Bonjour à tous et à toutes

Bonjour à tous et à toutes ! : Hello, everybody! This expression uses the masculine plural tous and feminine plural toutes, emphasizing that everyone (both male and female) is being addressed.

What is the opposite of Tous in French? ›

The opposite is souvent (often) or toujours (always). Il ne faut jamais dire jamais. (proverb) Never say never. Je ne bois jamais de café, je bois toujours du thé.

What does Je Vous Aime Tous mean? ›

Phrase. je vous aime. (formal) I love you.

What is tout alors? ›

Literally meaning “Like this, like that”, this phrase is the text book way to respond to many questions if you want to say the equivalent of “so so” in English. However, the phrase is used in French as seldom as “so so” is used by native English speakers.

Why do the French say Si for yes? ›

French language resolves that ambiguity by using another word to mean “yes” after a negative question: Si ! For example: “Tu n'as pas faim ?” “Si !” (= “Aren't you hungry?” “, Yes, I am hungry.”) It's also used to deny a negative affirmation!

Do the French say Si for yes? ›

Si is one of the many ways to say 'yes', along with the ever reliable oui and its more casual cousins ouais and mouais, the latter being used when you have a hint of hesitancy about whatever you are agreeing to.

Do you pronounce the s in plus tard? ›

If there is one thing you need to remember from this article, it's that you generally pronounce the “s” when “plus” has a positive meaning and don't when it has a negative meaning. Remember this rule and you will be right in most cases. A plus tard !

Why does French have silent s? ›

Why does French have so many silent letters? The silent letters (les lettres muettes) were once pronounced in Old French. As the language evolved, the pronunciation was abandoned, but the modern words are still the same.

What is the difference between chaque jour and tous les jours? ›

Bonjour Olivia, Tous les jours means "every day," and chaque jour means "each day." So the meanings are very similar, but not quite the same, just as in English.

What is Pas du tout? ›

pas du tout in American English

(pɑː dʏ ˈtuː) French. interjection. not at all.

What is Tout est bien? ›

Meaning. All's well that ends well. Register.

What does tous le monde mean? ›

: all the world : everybody.

Who is called a tout? ›

a person who solicits business in a brazen way. Also called: ticket tout a person who sells tickets unofficially for a heavily booked sporting event, concert, etc, at greatly inflated prices.

Do you pronounce the T at the end of French words? ›

When T is the last letter of a word, it is silent. However, there are a few words that are exceptions to this rule. Always pronounce the T at the end of the following words: ouest, est (n), huit, brut.

What is the opposite of Merci? ›

The usual response to merci is de rien (You're welcome – literally, It's nothing) or il n'y a pas de quoi. In a more formal context, you could say Je vous en prie or Je t'en prie.

What are the different forms of tout? ›

As a pronoun, tout means all, everything, or everyone. It only has 3 different forms: tout, tous, and toutes.

How do you remember the word tout? ›

Mnemonic trick to remember the meaning of Tout
  1. tout: shout to promote (to publicly praise or promote)
  2. improve the previous mnemonic…imagine a stout person praising his muscles.
May 30, 2019

What is meant by Tu Me Manques? ›

tu me manques : I miss you.

Do French people say I love you? ›

This might be disconcerting if it wasn't so normal in France, where no matter how head-over-heels a couple may be, they rarely utter those words.

What does avec toi je suis moi mean? ›

French Words on Instagram: “Avec toi, je suis moi • With you, I am me • /a.

Is Zut alors rude? ›

As for “zut alors,” it's not exactly a curse word. As interjections go, it's more similar to “shoot” than “sh*t.” If these two are your go-to attempts at profanity, read on to update your repertoire of exclamations and insults!

What does à tout à l heure? ›

à tout à l'heure : see you later, in a bit.

Why do the French say donc? ›

So what exactly does it mean? Dis donc has several translations into English. While it literally means 'say then' it would really be equivalent to 'wow', 'goodness', 'hey! ', 'well,' and 'listen' and is usually used to express surprise or admiration.

Why do French say oui? ›

It's common in French to repeat the yes twice: “oui, oui…” Of course this cracks up our English friends, but it's common to double the yes to answer in a casual way in French. It doesn't have a specific meaning: it's just a way to speak and it's not like we say “oui, oui” all the time either.

What does oui oui means? ›

interjection. yes [interjection] used to express agreement or consent.

Do the French say yay? ›

Ouah is French for “yes” when you're extra happy and enthusiastic. You could translate it as “Yes!” or “Yay!”

How many tous les jours are in the world? ›

Tous les Jours is a "French-Asian-inspired" bakery primarily serving a selection of baked goods and beverages. As of 2021, it has more than 1,650 locations worldwide.

What language is Je Vous Aime Tous? ›

English translation: I love you
French term or phrase:Je vous aime
English translation:I love you
Entered by:Vicky Papaprodromou

What jours means? ›

a. the period of light between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from the night. b. (as modifier) the day shift.

What is tres bien? ›

very good, very well. excellent.

How do you say Woo Hoo in French? ›

Woohoo, it works! Ouah, ça fonctionne bien !

Does wee mean yes in French? ›

Oui is the basic and standard way to say “yes” in French. Like “Oui, c'est lundi!” (Yes, it's Monday!) And oui is pronounced /wee/, like how you would say the word we in English.

What does the French phrase tout suite mean? ›

(colloquial) Immediately, right away. If you want to catch the bus, you'd better leave tout de suite!

Is à toute formal or informal? ›

Just use “À toute” because it could mean both of them, and it's shorter. But be careful, it's informal.

What is the difference between Toujours and tous les jours? ›

However, you may or may not catch the difference between toujours and tous les jours. The first means “always.” It implies a sort of auto-pilot dynamic, such as the one between me and coffee, as in “I ALWAYS have coffee in the morning”. Tous les jours, however, means “every day.” Yep. Each day that enters your life!

What does PAS PA tout mean? ›

Passepartout (or passe-partout) is French for "pass everywhere" and is commonly used in French in the sense of a master key or passkey.

What is tout a Leur? ›

The French idiomatic expression tout à l'heure (pronounced too tah leur) means a moment ago, just now, in a moment, right away (literally: "all at the time"). This expression refers to a short period of time, either a moment in the recent past or a moment in the near future.

Is tout a negative word? ›

The word touting or “tout” has a negative connotation. It almost always, in today's parlance, means a hard, aggressive selling style coupled with exaggerated and even false claims.

Where does the word tout come from? ›

From a dialectal form of toot (“to stick out; project; peer out; peep”), itself from Middle English toten, totien, from Old English tōtian (“to peep out; look; pry; spectate”).

What are 3 greetings in French? ›

The most important French greetings include bonjour (hello), enchanté(e) (nice to meet you), bonsoir (good evening/hello), salut (hi), coucou (hey), Ça fait longtemps, dis donc (long time no see), Âllo (hello), Ça va? (how are you?), tu vas bien? (have you been well?), quoi de neuf? (what's up?), au revoir!

How do you respond to Bonsoir? ›

It is use for formal as well as informal greeting in French-speaking countries. There is also an other way of responding or greeting someone when replying to bonsoir.It is by responding "Salut". It means Hi.It is used to greet friends or well-known .

What are 3 ways to say goodbye in French? ›

Goodbye in French: More Than 13 Ways to Say Bye in French
  • #1 Au revoir - “Goodbye” in French. ...
  • #2 Salut - “Bye” in French. ...
  • #3 À demain - “See you tomorrow” in French. ...
  • #4 À bientôt - “See you soon” in French. ...
  • #5 À tout de suite - “See you in a moment” in French. ...
  • #6 À tout à l'heure - “See you later” in French.
Jun 25, 2020

Why do French use est ce que? ›

The phrase est-ce que is used to ask a question. Word order stays just the same as it would in an ordinary sentence. Est-ce que comes before the subject, and the verb comes after the subject. So to turn the sentence Tu connais Marie (meaning You know Marie) into a question, all you need to do is to add est-ce que.


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