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Generally speaking without any context could we say that "хотя бы" is a synonym for "по крайней мере" meaning "at least"?

7

These phrases synonymous in one of possible meanings - one that stands for English "at least". There are other meaning in which хотя бы can not be substituted, they are:

  • As in "хоть бы зима поскорее кончилась!" (not that in modern Russian though there's a tendency to separate хотя бы from хоть бы, though actually the latter is just a shortened form.
  • As in "взять бы 5й "Б" класс, вот хотя бы Петрова - совсем другие результаты".
  • As in "хотя бы на час с тобой свидеться".

So basically when you use хотя бы for emphasizing it's interchangeable with по крайней мере to less extent. More on meaning and usages you can find here.

  • imho in modern Russian "хоть бы" and "хотя бы" have got a different meaning. "Хотя бы зима поскорее кончилась" can be translated as "At least, the winter could end" – Alexander Jan 25 '19 at 21:22
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Yes. It is even mentioned in dictionaries that "хотя бы" and "по крайней мере" are very close in their meanings.

хотя бы on Wiktionary:

  1. усилительно-выделительная частица, то же, что хотя, хоть, близко по значению к словам по крайней мере, по меньшей мере

по крайней мере on Wiktionary:

  1. хотя бы, по меньшей мере

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