The rule concerning agreement of "tout" in different situations confuses me. Why isn't it written "toute à l'heure" so that tout agrees with the gender of l'heure? Thanks.
I found this explanation in Le Figaro but it does not explain why there is no agreement: https://www.lefigaro.fr/langue-francaise/expressions-francaises/2019/01/23/37003-20190123ARTFIG00047--toute-a-l-heure-ne-faites-plus-la-faute.php
Dictation exercise C1
In this expression, "tout" and "à l'heure" are both adverbs, so there's no agreement. (Adverbs normally don't agree, but there's an odd rule with the adverb "tout" that means it agrees with a feminine adjective beginning with a consonant or aspirated h, e.g. "elle est toute contente", but this never happens when it's followed by an adverb.)
Actually, when I think about it, "à l'heure" can also be an adjectival phrase, but although heure is feminine, the phrase doesn't really have a gender. Also it begins with a vowel, so it wouldn't be covered by that odd rule.
I get that, generally, adverbs are invariable. But how do you explain that allh of these sentences are correct?:
"Elles sont tout étonnées" and "elles sont toutes honteuses" and "elles sont toutes contentes"?
Well that's the odd rule I mentioned. If you're asking for an explanation of why that rule exists, I'm afraid I've no idea.
There are different ways to use tout in French - as a pronoun or an adjective - to express slightly different things:
To say all (the) [things] or the whole [thing], you will use the adjective tout, as follows :
Note that as an adjective, tout agrees in gender and number with the thing it refers to, as such:
Tous/toutes can be used either as:
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!)
Thanks. So your answer Dr. Michael causes me to ask: When it comes to "tous", when do you pronounce it "toos" and when do you pronounce it "too"? Is there a unifying rule that explains all the possibilities?
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