It means "even though all of them are great writers, your student doesn't know them". In Russian, и, among other things, means "even". It can be used in this sense as a standalone word: Я его и знать не хочу! Я буду мужа любить. // I don't even want to be anywhere near him (literally, "I don't even want to know him"). I will ...


It's an adverb. "Если - то" is just like "If - then". You may drop "то", but the phase would lose some of its completeness.


The sentence is incorrect and does not make sense as quoted. It probably was intended to be «хотя все они и великие писатели, вашa ученицa их не знает». In that case "и" emphasizes the conditional conjunction "хотя", something like: "Even though they are [obviously] famous writers, your student does not know them". One might ...


To put it simply, the difference is one of emphasis. When "и" plays the part of a conjunction, it's translated as "and". But here, it's a particle translated as "even" and it adds an additional stress to the fact stated after хотя.

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