I am learning the gerund tense from lingolia. Here are some examples:

  • En jouant, Max a marqué un but.

  • Max a marqué un but tout en jouant.

  • En s’entraînant bien, son équipe gagnera aussi le prochain match.

  • Il est rentré à la maison en chantant.

  • Il a marqué un but tout en courant très peu pendant le jeu.

The first and last examples use "tout", which means "every" or "all". However, the sentence doesn't seem to call for such an adjective. Does "tout" serve an explicit purpose, or is it simply idiomatic?

In some contexts, "tout" might also mean "also" or "entire[ly]", but these don't seem to be useful in the above two examples either.

  • 2
    In English there's the phrase "all the while" that means exactly the same thing (though kind of formal), maybe it can help wrap your head around it. Apr 25, 2022 at 7:52

1 Answer 1


These sentences do not use tout (every, all) but tout + gerund (i.e. tout en + past participle).

It is close the the English "while + -ing" :

Max scored a goal while playing1.

He scored a goal while running very little during the game.

In the last sentence, the meaning leans more toward despite not running a lot.

1 Whether he could have scored a goal without playing is questionable though...

  • Thank you, jlliagre! Apr 25, 2022 at 20:56

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