The agreement of the adverb tout in French

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The agreement of the adverb tout

Reminder: Tout can either be an adjective, a pronoun, or an adverb. It agrees (or not) according to each function.
J’aime toutes les filles, j’aime tous les garçons (adjective → agreement)
I love all the girls, I love all the boys.
Ils sont tous là, elles sont toutes (pronoun → agreement)
They are all there, they are all there.
Tes vêtements sont tout sales (adverb → invariable / no agreement)
Your clothes are all dirty.
When used as an adverb, tout (all, completely, very) shares a similar meaning to entièrement, complètement, and très. It is followed by an adjective.
Je suis tout triste. I’m very sad.
Mon chat est tout mouillé. My cat is all wet.
As a general rule, and like any adverb, tout remains invariable.
Ils sont tout tristes. They are very sad.
Mes chats sont tout mouillés. My cats are all wet.
Exception: The adverb tout takes a feminine singular and plural form when followed by a word starting with consonant or an aspirated h (like honteux, handicapé, haineux, etc.).
Ma fille est toute triste, mes filles sont toutes tristes. (triste starts with a consonant → agreement)
My daughter is very sad, my daughters are very sad.
Ta sœur est toute honteuse. (honteuse starts with an aspirated h → agreement)
Your sister is very ashamed.
Ma voisine est tout excitée, mes voisines sont tout excitées. (excitée(s) starts with a vowel → no agreement)
My neighbour is very excited, my neighbours are very excited.
Note: The agreement of tout in the feminine form is linked to pronunciation. Whether we say toute triste or tout excitée , it just so happens that tout(e) is pronounced the same.

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