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I recently learned the expression "se faire des films" or "se faire tout un film".

I am wondering what the meaning and grammatical role is of the word "tout".

For example, if I consider

Tu te fais un film

I can translate (literally) as "You make to yourself a film". That is, the "te" is an indirect object, and "un film" is a direct object.

But with

Tu te fais tout un film

, I'm not sure what "tout" does.

  • Is it an adverb, modifying "fais", meaning "in a way that does it 100% completely", to give the sentence "You make to yourself, in a 100% complete way, a film"?
  • Or is it instead some kind of additional object, meaning something like "everything that exists", as in "You make (to yourself) everything that exists into a film"?
  • Or is it an adjective modifying "un film", meaning "You make (to yourself) a complete film"?
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    "Film" is a masculine word. "Un film". If you are not sure about the gender of a word, don't guess, open a dictionary... – Najib Idrissi Mar 2 '18 at 11:18
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It's the third option. (You make (to yourself) a complete film). It would be a better translation to use "whole" instead of complete.

It basically just amplifies what's behind it, like it's not just a "mini-movie" or a short, he's really imagining a whole movie (so he's imagining something way too big that will never happen).

Other example :

-T'as un pansement ? Tu t'es fait quoi au doigt ? (You have a band-aid? What happened to your finger?)

-Oh, c'est toute une histoire (Oh it's a whole story)

i.e. there's so much leading to that event that the events make a whole story.

  • 1) Why is it "fait" instead of "fais" in "Tu t'es fait quoi au doigt"? 2) If I had wanted to modify the verb ("fais") instead, in "Tu te fais un film", would it be "Tu te tout fais un film"? – silph Mar 3 '18 at 9:23
  • @silph 1) It's past participle, like "J'ai mangé" or "Je me suis trompé" : "Je me suis fait" (the conjugated verb is the auxiliary, être). – Teleporting Goat Mar 3 '18 at 15:11
  • @silph 2) No, why would it be that way? "Tout" stays close to the noun "Tout un film", "toute une histoire" – Teleporting Goat Mar 3 '18 at 15:12
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In this sentence, "tout" is an indefinite adjective, modifying the indefinite article "un" of "un film". It is used to denote the idea of a "whole/entire" thing, here an "entire movie". Basically, if you say "se faire tout un film", you are not just imagining a movie, you are imagining a whole movie, from A to Z, which involves more effort, goes into more details...

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