L'analphabétisme, la pauvreté, les coutumes, la religion, tous ceux-là tournent ensembles dans un cercle vicieux.

Or should it be "tout cela" instead?

  • Ensemble being here an adverb is invariable so shouldn't have this extra s.
    – jlliagre
    Feb 9 '19 at 22:45
  • Is that a sentence you wrote or did you read it somewhere? Feb 11 '19 at 10:11

No, it would require grammar and meaning change.

tous ceux-là=all of them, insists on the absence of exception, all of them are roaming into a vicious circle.

tout cela=all of this, consider the thing as a whole. The sentence would also require to be rewritten as tout cela tourne dans un cercle vicieux=all of this is roaming into a vicious circle.

  • Don't you mean “Yes, and it would require …”? The sentence as it is doesn't make much sense. Feb 9 '19 at 23:51
  • The connotations of "roaming into" are not proper; it's only a question of "tourner" which is, at that figurative; it is no more than "run around". Moreover, this phrase, initially from the domain of logic, is not used very idiomatically with "tourner", even in a figurative way ("tourner dans un cercle vicieux" is on the decline in French); the popular "tourner en rond" is not to be taken as a template.
    – LPH
    Feb 10 '19 at 13:31

“Tous ceux-là” looks strange in this sentence. The pronoun “ceux” designates a subset of its antecedent. The sentence doesn't have a suitable antecedent for ceux (“l'analphabétisme, la pauvreté, les coutumes, la religion” is the subset, not the antecedent). Furthermore using ”ceux-là“ tends to imply that this is not the only subset: there should be at least one other subset designated by “ceux-ci”. It can work in the proper context, but it's a bit of a stretch.

Les civilisations sont confrontées à de nombreux problèmes. Certains, comme la guerre, peuvent être résolus isolément. Mais d'autres sont plus pernicieux. L'analphabétisme, la pauvreté, les coutumes, la religion, tous ceux-là tournent ensemble dans un cercle vicieux.

This is ok grammatically. There is an antecedent “problèmes”, then a discussion of at least one such problem (“la guerre”), and then a discussion of another set of problems which can be referred to with “ceux-là”. However I don't think my made-up context makes much sense.

On the other hand, with “tout cela” instead of “tous ceux-là”, the sentence makes sense. There is a set of problems, and since the sentence is about them interacting, they are considered as a whole, using a singular pronoun. The use of ceci or cela is largely indifferent.

L'analphabétisme, la pauvreté, les coutumes, la religion, tout cela tourne ensemble dans un cercle vicieux.

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