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Выходит, что мужчины -- что старые, что молодые -- просто не могут пройти мимо такой красавицы.

In conversation, I wanted to express the idea of "all men, young and old". I wonder if my phrasing above got my meaning across.

How do native speakers commonly express this idea?

  • indeed, this is 100% idiomatic, one of course could also use a more formal как..., так и... - .... as well as ... – Баян Купи-ка Dec 11 '18 at 8:07
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    Your version is just right and "что" especially fits here. Other proposed phrases like "и стар, и млад",while idiomatic, are rather old-fashioned. You may also take "от мала до велика" to your collection. But this probably includes children too. – AlexVB Dec 11 '18 at 8:28
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There is a standard expression adopted in Russian literature: "и стар и млад".
In colloquial speech it is sometimes replaced by a version "что стар, что млад".

In addition, in the Russian language there is a very famous quote "Любви все возрасты покорны"(А.С.Пушкин, "Евгений Онегин") - "To love all ages are obedient"/"To love all ages yield surrender", and when it comes to romantic relationships of people of different ages, references to this phrase are used very often.

  • "И стар и млад" is not a colloquial-speech-expression. It sounds like an Old Russian or a pathetic speach. To be honest, the topic-starter's option is the best of all I can see here, it is more neutral and doesnt sound weird. – AlexandrX Dec 12 '18 at 19:39
  • I've mentioned in my answer that "и стар и млад" is a literary form. If main goal is to make the phrase as neutral as possible (for example, in a journalistic article) it makes sense to abandon "all men, young and old" and replace it with "men, regardless of age": "Выходит, что мужчины, вне зависимости от возраста, просто не могут пройти мимо такой красавицы" or "Выходит, что мужчины, причем любого возраста, просто не могут пройти мимо такой красавицы". But it will be a different style. – Ivan Olshansky Dec 13 '18 at 5:46
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Yours works. You could have also used и старые, и молодые and, since there's a negation in the sentence, double negation to say ни старые, ни молодые.

Other options

-- мужчины всех возрастов просто не могут пройти...

-- мужчины любого возраста просто не могут пройти...

-- мужчины вне зависимости от возраста просто не могут пройти...

-- мужчины, какого бы возраста они ни были, просто не могут пройти...

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    You have forgotten the typically Russian "Мужчины никакого возраста не могут пройти мимо." – Elena Dec 11 '18 at 8:07
  • @Elena - I'd rather argue "никакой возраст" is rather weird combo, so if it wasn't your comment I'd immediately say "it's not even Russian!". – seven-phases-max Dec 11 '18 at 14:26
  • @seven-phases-max, thanks for this "your". :) It is Russian. Let's replace it by Ни в каком возрасте мужчины не могут пройти мимо..., but it would rather refer to sth what exists for a long time period, when a man goes through all his ages. – Elena Dec 12 '18 at 5:25
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«И стар, и млад»

«От мала до велика»

It seems like this.:)

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Ни стар, ни млад. Стар и млад.

Neither the old, nor the young. Ни стар, ни млад не может пройти мимо такой красавицы.

This is in a way synonimous to the following phrase.

Ни стар, ни мал. Стар и мал.

Neither the old, nor the little. This expression unites all people from childhood to senility, not about romantic relations.

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Your variant works, but it sounds a bit literary.

The neutral pronoun is как... так и.... So the neutral register is 'все мужчины, как старые, так и молодые...' (or even simpler, double и...и - и старые, и молодые) But maybe your variant could work better if one needs to sound ironic (more sophisticated, etc.).

И стар, и млад... needs clarifying. This is an idiom (so it's more of less fixed, with a fixed meaning, so the deviations suggested before like "ни стар, ни млад" probably exist, but rare and not typical). But the fixed meaning is 'ALL people, regardless of sex, including children, everyone'... In your case you need to say it's 'men only', so I would be cautious to use "и стар, и млад" - it may be used probably to refer to men in some contexts if you specify it's men only, but logically it's not 100% impeccable, for strictly speaking it includes women and children, hence may sound ironical or funny if the phrasing is not exact. Besides, и стар, и млад (having archaic connotation, младой - is archaic form) in itself may sound ironic.

  • Funny, but I perceive it quite the opposite way, I perceive как/так as a formal normative "literary" expression and что/что as "street talk" – Arioch Dec 13 '18 at 9:22

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