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“On a tous le droit de s'exprimer…”

“We all have the right to express ourselves…”

One of our listeners wondered about the pronunciation of the word tous, referring to the sentence above which appeared in one of our earlier lessons.

What about the final s of tous? Well, generally speaking, when tous functions as an adjective, the final s is not pronounced. Consider the following examples:

In this first set, tous is an adjective. The final s is not pronounced...

  • Je connais tous les étudiants.
    [= I know all the students.]
  • J'aime tous les animaux.
    [= I like all animals.]
  • Peux-tu ramasser tous les jouets?
    [= Can you pick up all the toys?]

On the other hand, in this second set of examples, tous is a pronoun. Here the final s is pronounced...

  • Je les ai vus tous.
    [= I saw all of them./I have seen them all.]
  • Nous irons tous à la montagne.
    [= We will/shall all go to the mountains.]
  • Je les connais tous.
    [= I know them all.]

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