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)!

 

Pronunciation 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

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.


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.


Q&A Forum 22 questions, 37 answers

SimonA2Kwiziq community member

touts incorrect spelling

In on of the A2 the lesson there is a spelling  ... touts... an incorrect answer,  but bad spellers like me are likely to remember this. Please could yo not use incorrect spellings, its really confusing.

Thanks

Asked 2 months ago
CécileKwiziq team member

Hi Simon, 

It is a typo but I had a good look at the lesson and couldn’t find it there, so could you let me know where you found it?

Simon asked:View original

touts incorrect spelling

In on of the A2 the lesson there is a spelling  ... touts... an incorrect answer,  but bad spellers like me are likely to remember this. Please could yo not use incorrect spellings, its really confusing.

Thanks

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JoanneB2Kwiziq community member

Tous being used to mean "all of them"

This was the question: 

"Tu as les billets ? Oui, je les ai tous" means:

From a drop-down multiple choice, I answered that it meant "I have everything" but I wasn't sure that was correct because of the "les"

The correct answer was, "I have all of them," but couldn't that be written as, "J'en ai tous?" That's where I got confused.

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Joanne,

Je les ai tous = I have all of them ( the tickets being replaced by 'les')

J'ai tout = I have everything

J'en ai tous is incorrect and has no meaning in French if you wanted to say I have a few of /some of them you would have to say -

J'en ai quelques-uns 

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Oui, je les ai tous. -- Yes, I have them all. This makes no reference to any group of things of which you have taken some or all.

Tous being used to mean "all of them"

This was the question: 

"Tu as les billets ? Oui, je les ai tous" means:

From a drop-down multiple choice, I answered that it meant "I have everything" but I wasn't sure that was correct because of the "les"

The correct answer was, "I have all of them," but couldn't that be written as, "J'en ai tous?" That's where I got confused.

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SagarB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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!

Asked 8 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Sagar,

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

SagarB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Merci, Cécile ! Je vous comprends parfaitement.

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!

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JoanA1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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!!

Asked 9 months ago

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!!

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RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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.

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq team member

HI Robin,

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

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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 asked:View original

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.

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RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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.

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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!

RobinA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Thank you for this excellent explanation!

Robin asked:View original

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.

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MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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.
Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Yes, in this example "tous" should be pronounced with the trailing s. 
AurélieKwiziq team member

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 ! 

MelisaA2Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Thanks for fixing it!
Melisa asked:View original

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.

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JohnC1Kwiziq community member

"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?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

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

JohnC1Kwiziq community member
Merci pour votre réponse

"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?

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OlenaB1Kwiziq community member

Question about question in a test

"Les pommes ? Anne les a ___ mangées."

Isn't it "a mangé"?

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
No, if the direct object (les) comes before the participle (mangées) the participle is matched to the object (feminine plural, because of les pommes). 

Question about question in a test

"Les pommes ? Anne les a ___ mangées."

Isn't it "a mangé"?

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SuzanneB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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.

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

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.

SuzanneB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Merci!

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.

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SuzanneB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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)

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

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...

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)

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SuzanneB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

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

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team member
already answered ...

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

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BarbaraC1Kwiziq community member

I think you are mixing adjectives and pronouns

Toute la journée, mon chat dort.

Here, toute is an adjective not a pronoun, I believe.

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq team member

Bonjour Barbara !

Thanks for your feedback! Indeed our lesson lacked clarity, in that "tout" can indeed be either a pronoun or an adjective (as in the case you mentioned)

I've therefore amended the lesson accordingly :)

Merci et bonne journée !

I think you are mixing adjectives and pronouns

Toute la journée, mon chat dort.

Here, toute is an adjective not a pronoun, I believe.

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SuzanneB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

What is the different betweet:

Asked 1 year ago
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor Correct answer

Hi Suzanne, I really can't say it any different than the corresponding lesson to which you refer.

Tout-toute / tous-toutes are the different forms, masculine-feminine in singular and plural.

And depending on how you use it, it can mean different things:

J'ai oublié tout. -- I forgot everything.
J'y ai pensé toute la journée. -- I tought about it all the day.
Nous sommes tous arrivés ensemble. -- We all arrived together. (a male or mixed group)
Nous sommes toutes arrivées ensemble -- We all arrived together. (an all female group)

I hope that helps, -- Chris (not a native speaker).

What is the different betweet:

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DanielA2Kwiziq community member

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

isn't it the other way around? Les garçons ont eu leur examen et tous l'ont passé.
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi Daniel,

As Chris says,  in French,

passer un examen, means to take an exam and

avoir un examen means to have passed it

 It is what we call a faux-ami ( false friend or false cognate) you think it means the same in English but this is not the case. You will meet quite a few of those as you are learning.

To give another example , compare ,

Il passe son permis de conduire demain . ( He is taking his driving test tomorrow )

and

Ça y est ! il a son permis ( de conduire) , That's it ! He's passed his driving licence.

Hope this helps!

ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Well, no, actually. Passer un examen -- to take an exam (not necessarily tompass it). Avoir un examen -- to pass it. This is confusing because in English it seems to be zhe other way round. -- Chris (not a native speaker) P.S.: I have been told, however, that this distinction is lost on many native French speakers.
Daniel asked:View original

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

isn't it the other way around? Les garçons ont eu leur examen et tous l'ont passé.

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ThomasB2Kwiziq community member

Position of tout in "Elle a tout compris"

"She understood everything." has "tout" after "a" as the correct answer in the test. But "she understood something." is "Elle a compris quelque chose." ... at least I think that is correct. Why?
Asked 2 years ago
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Bonjour Thomas, Tout, tous, toute, toutes = Everything, all (of them), the whole (indefinite pronouns) In the phrase Elle a tout compris, tout is an indefinite pronoun and pronouns typically go before a verb, in this case between the auxiliary of avoir and the participe passé; however, in the phrase Elle a compris quelque chose, quelque is an adjective and chose is a feminine noun and would follow the verb. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderez. Ron
ThomasB2Kwiziq community member
Merci beaucoup!
AurélieKwiziq team member
Excellent explication Ron :) One tiny thing = "J'espère que ma réponse vous aidera." (it's your answer that helps) ;)
RonC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Merci Aurélie, c'était un typo.
ChrisC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor
Would it be correct to translate: J'ai tout compris = I understood completely. J'ai compris tout = I understood everything. -- Chris.
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Claus ! You wouldn't say "J'ai compris tout", only "J'ai tout compris" to say = I understood everything. If you want to say "I understood completely" you will use another adverb: "J'ai complètement / tout à fait compris." See our lesson on position of adverbs with compound tenses: Position of adverbs with verbs in compound tenses À bientôt !

Position of tout in "Elle a tout compris"

"She understood everything." has "tout" after "a" as the correct answer in the test. But "she understood something." is "Elle a compris quelque chose." ... at least I think that is correct. Why?

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MichaelC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

'tout' (everything) vs 'tous' or 'toutes' (all of them)

'Tout' ('too') means 'everything, and its pronunciation must be distinguished from: 'Tous' ('toos') and 'toutes' ('toot') mean all of them. With these ('all of them') Here, there are 2 cases: 1. when used as the noun: (tous etaient content - all of them were happy-'toos'); 2. when used as an adjective of the noun 'they' (as in 'they all' or 'they were ll'): (ils etaient tous content - they were all happy - 'too') The weird one is 'ils l'ont tous eu' - they all passed - by the rule 'tous' should be pronounced 'too', but is pronounced 'toos' because of liaison. Is this correct?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Michael ! Actually "tous" is always pronounced [toos]. The two cases are: "Ils étaient *tout* contents." where "tout" emphasises "contents" = They were *very/all* happy. "Ils étaient *tous* contents." here it goes with "ils" = They were *all (of them)* happy. In the second case, you'll always pronounce [tous]. I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

'tout' (everything) vs 'tous' or 'toutes' (all of them)

'Tout' ('too') means 'everything, and its pronunciation must be distinguished from: 'Tous' ('toos') and 'toutes' ('toot') mean all of them. With these ('all of them') Here, there are 2 cases: 1. when used as the noun: (tous etaient content - all of them were happy-'toos'); 2. when used as an adjective of the noun 'they' (as in 'they all' or 'they were ll'): (ils etaient tous content - they were all happy - 'too') The weird one is 'ils l'ont tous eu' - they all passed - by the rule 'tous' should be pronounced 'too', but is pronounced 'toos' because of liaison. Is this correct?

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AurélieKwiziq team member

Oleg asked: "Shouldn't it be "Il les a tous lu" instead of "Il les a tous lus"? If not, why?"

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Oleg ! "Il les a tous luS" is actually correct, because it follows a (very annoying!) rule of agreement with the auxiliary "avoir". You will agree the past participle with the direct object of the verb IF this one is placed BEFORE the verb... which happens when using direct object pronouns as in here. Here is a link to the related lesson: Special cases when the past participle agrees (in number & gender) when used with 'avoir' in Le Passé Composé I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

Oleg asked: "Shouldn't it be "Il les a tous lu" instead of "Il les a tous lus"? If not, why?"

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KevinB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Ambiguity in "Mes amis sont venus et ils étaient tous contents"?

Is there some ambiguity in this example? Mes amis sont venus et ils étaient tous contents. The post translates that as "My friends came and they were all happy." However, in addition to (or maybe rather than--I don't know) "all of them," that could also mean something like "they were completely happy," couldn't it? That's my understanding of tout + a predicative adjective.
Asked 3 years ago
KevinB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
That's very helpful, Aurélie--thank you!

Ambiguity in "Mes amis sont venus et ils étaient tous contents"?

Is there some ambiguity in this example? Mes amis sont venus et ils étaient tous contents. The post translates that as "My friends came and they were all happy." However, in addition to (or maybe rather than--I don't know) "all of them," that could also mean something like "they were completely happy," couldn't it? That's my understanding of tout + a predicative adjective.

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KevinB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Unlike your typical lessons, this is hard to follow

Hello, Unlike a typical Kwiziq lesson, this one is difficult to follow. Perhaps consider structuring it a bit more?
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq team member
Bonjour Kevin ! Thank you for your suggestion: I've had a look and indeed decided to rework it a bit ;) Please have a look, and let me know what you think ! Merci et à bientôt !
KevinB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
Hi, Aurélie, I would describe this as still pretty unstructured, in truth. I took a crack at it myself. You can see what I came up with on the following page. I have links to a couple quizzes there--if you can explain to me how to link to yours, I'd be happy to do so! https://zipfslaw.org/2016/10/13/tutelary-gods-and-how-to-use-tout/

Unlike your typical lessons, this is hard to follow

Hello, Unlike a typical Kwiziq lesson, this one is difficult to follow. Perhaps consider structuring it a bit more?

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JuliaA1Kwiziq community member

Is there a quiz that focuses on this lesson? That would be so helpful.

Asked 3 years ago
LauraKwiziq team member
Bonjour Julia, If you create a Notebook with just this lesson, you can then test only on it. Bonne continuation !
KevinB1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor
I have to admit, I tried creating a notebook with just this lesson, but I still don't see a test for it.

Is there a quiz that focuses on this lesson? That would be so helpful.

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ReemA1Kwiziq community member

Hello, I still can't tell when to use "tous"!

Asked 3 years ago
StephenC1Kwiziq community member
When the noun is male plural.

Hello, I still can't tell when to use "tous"!

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