Mais cette année tout est différent.
But this year everything is different.

Why not use "différente"? Année is feminine. And "tout" according to the dictionary is either masculine or feminine noun. For "être", the gender must match, no?

  • « Mais cette année, somme toute, est différente. »
    – jlliagre
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


"différent" agrees with the subject. Here, "année" is not the subject.
You may say (subject being bold) :

Mais tout est différent
Mais cette année est différente
Mais cette année, tout est différent

Adding a comma makes it clearer I guess, but here, the subject is "tout". I don't know where did you find that "tout" can be feminine, but as a indefinite nominal pronoun, it's not, it's neutral, so used as a masculine. The feminine of "tout" is "toute", and cannot be used this way.

You may see usages here (first example in brackets because doesn't seem to fit) :

2b- TOUT pronom indéfini nominal
Il représente un ensemble de personnes ou de choses.
(La patience n'est pas donnée à tous.)
Tout, dans vos gestes, me rappelle votre mère.
C'est tout.
Tout est là.
Ce sera tout ou rien.
Proverbes. Tout passe, tout lasse, tout casse.
Tout est bien qui finit bien.

  • 2
    Tout is not a noun here, it is an indefinite pronoun. And it is not masculine, it is neutral (as such follows agreement rules of masculine). Tout is a noun only if preceded by le ("the whole").
    – None
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 12:09
  • @Laure Indeed, "TOUT pronom indéfini nominal", didn't find it, I'll edit answer :)
    – Random
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 12:11
  • You should remove the first example which does not belong in your series: La patience n'est pas donnée à toutes. is correct. In general, where tous can be used, toutes can be used too.
    – GAM PUB
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 7:18
  • @GAMPUB Thanks, I added brackets, since it's a quote
    – Random
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 8:52

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