I feel like this expression ("Tout simplement") doesn't quite have a good English translation. I would love if a native French speaker could provide their view on this expression.
I think that the idiom "tout simplement" does not match any English idiom. "Tout" is placed before "simplement" just to stress how simple it is. I believe that, depending on context, you would say "simply" or "just" or "easy", when building a sentence around it.
Yes and yes, but French and English expressions do not always match exactly.
There is a lot to tout .. it can be adjective, adverb, noun, or pronoun. In this case is an adverb. I just learned that tout is mostly invariable as an adverb (stays tout whether masc/fem sing/plural) except when it is modifying a feminine adjective that starts with a consonant in which case it has to agree ("Elle est toute petite", "She is very pretty" or "Les toutes premières années" "The very first years") http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/tout.htm
So I know everyone is trying to come up with a good English translation, but might someone offer up the context of when one uses "tout simplement." In what type of conversation would one use this? Thanks!
It is generally an exclamation meaning how simple something is, was, should be.
Q- comment as-tu su qu'il était marié ? (how did you know he was married?)
A- en lui posant la question, tout simplement. (I simply asked him the question!)
I hear "quite simply" used often --- It is a little more emphatic than "simply". My question is, if "tout simplement" is "quite simply", then how does one say "simply all? Would "simplement tout" work?
It is not strong enough. "Assez" means "rather" whereas "tout" means "entirely/completely".
In other words, "assez simplement" would be an understatement vs "tout simplement".
Quite can mean "completely" (in front of an "absolute") or "rather", but "assez" never means "completely".
I suppose it is similar to us saying "easy peasy", there isn't really a direct translation for the phrase.
It may be "basically" in a full sentence like: "you can open it quite simply by cutting the top off".
In Australian English we sometimes say "Too easy!" Eg a tradesperson might say this after you've just described a straightforward job you'd like them to do.
Loose translation, I think. The real back translation for "tout simplement" when it comes to consumer products is closer to "quick and easy".