Мы будем помогать друг другу всем.

I wonder how placing "всем" after "друг другу" compares with:

Мы все будем помогать друг другу.

Is it just a stylistic difference, or are they nuanced?

  • 1
    If the second phrase was "Мы всем будем помогать друг другу", then yes, the difference would be just stylistic. – Alexander Dec 6 at 19:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

First phrase has the meaning of "we'll be helping each other with everything", where everything refers to the amount of help they can provide each other, i.e. "with everything we've got, we can spare, etc." Note that if you wanted to mean "we'll be helping each other in everything", you would use

Мы будем помогать друг другу во всём.

As mentioned by Баян Купи-ка in the comments, всем in the first expression is the instrumental case of всё. Adding чем сможем at the end can help with understanding why the instrumental case:

Мы будем помогать друг другу всем, чем сможем.

Regarding чем сможем vs чем можем that you asked about in the comments, there's literally no difference in meaning -- a native Russian speaker would interpret them the same way, at least in the setting that you provide -- but formally, всем, чем сможем is "with everything we'll be able to spare/we'll have" and всем, чем можем is "with everything we can spare/we have".

Second phrase = "we all will be helping each other".

  • 1
    Ah, I’d had this "всем" pegged as dative plural. Incidentally, I wonder if it isn't more like "всем, чем можем"? – Con-gras-tue-les-chiens Dec 6 at 5:43
  • @Con-gras-tue-les-chiens it's by no means a short version, чем (с)можем is only an option when the speaker/author's intention warrants it, the meaning of the first sentence is - we'll be helping each other with everything where всем is Intrumental of всё -> with everything, apparently neither in English with everything is a short version of with everything we've got... сможем or можем logically depends on the timing of such ability emergence, whether the speaker already has it or will only have it in the future – Баян Купи-ка Dec 6 at 7:56
  • @БаянКупи-ка ok, I was wrong to call it a short version. What I meant is longer phrase with чем сможем should help understand how the original phrase is constructed. I'll edit the answer... – user75619 Dec 6 at 10:39

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