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In the following sentence:

Он звонил через каждые пять минут.

I'm not sure how через works in this sentence. Specifically, how does it differ from this sentence:

Он звонил каждые пять минут.

This also seems to mean the same thing - He called every five minutes..

The dictionary gives an explanation that через means "every", but каждый also has that meaning, which confused me.

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    In this case, "через каждые пять минут" and "каждые пять минут" are interchangeable. However, there are other cases, like "через день", which is very different from "кадлый день". Mixed form "через каждый день" is not used because it would sound contradictory and confusing.
    – Alexander
    Mar 3, 2022 at 18:15
  • These sentences have the same meaning
    – Gleb
    Mar 17, 2022 at 20:21

2 Answers 2

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The meaning is the same. "Через каждые" seems more colloquial. ("Gramota.ru" says they are interchangeable.)

Через пять минут - in five minutes.
And when we want to replace "in" with "every", we also have the option of saying, literally, "in every five minutes" ("через каждые") which seems ok to us.

The dictionary puts an explanation that через means "every"

Don't trust it. Mine (GoldenDict) says:

over; across
through
via
in
through; by way of

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I'd say there is a minor difference in the formal meaning, negligible for understanding of the intended meaning. Через [каждые] 5 минут - there are five-minute breaks between calls. Call, talk, hang up, wait 5 minutes, then call again. Каждые 5 минут - every five minutes, regardless of the duration of each call.

In practice, though, both carry a meaning of "he couldn't stop calling". And 5 minutes here merely stands for "very little time".

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