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a. I risked my life for Jeff, and I want you to know that I'd risk my life for every one of you.

b. I risked my life for Jeff, and I want you to know that I'd risk my life for each of you.

c. I risked my life for Jeff, and I want you to know that I'd risk my life for all of you.

Which of the above sentences could be used instead of:

d. I risked my life for Jeff, and I want you to know that I'd risk my life for any one of you.

?

My problem with the first three sentences is that they could mean that if the occasion presents itself, I will risk my life to save all of you (the whole group).

(b) sounds somewhat strange to me. I think (a) is ambiguous. I think (c) isn't really ambiguous, but some people might use it instead of (d).

Many thanks

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    Probably the most idiomatic version is in your question title, rather than any of a,b,c,d. Note that I'd do that for each of you is kinda weird, in that implies some future situation where speaker does something consecutively to each addressee in turn. Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 13:14
  • Thank you both very much. Brilliant replies.
    – azz
    Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 21:45

1 Answer 1

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We do not need to be 100% precise in our use of language when the meaning is obvious from context.

If I just saved Adam, and am now in the presence of Bob, Charles and Dave, then it would be very rude/strange to say 'if any single one of you were at risk, then I'd let you die, but if I could save all three of you at once, then I would', especially given the context where I've just saved Adam alone.

Therefore all three are just fine and nobody would be confused about their meaning: we don't need to separate 'for all of you' into 'for all of you, whether individually or collectively'.

I agree that 'b' sounds slightly strange and you would probably use 'for each and every one of you'. I prefer "for each and every one of you" to 'for each of you', because it is more emphatic.

Here is an example of 'for every one of you'. https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/high-school/2017/04/10/greenfield-centrals-doug-laker-resigns/100294590/

“He’s very knowledgeable. He runs his practices with precision. That’s all well and good. A lot of coaches do that. But the X-factor is that he cares for every one of you. He loves every one of you.”

It's clear that the school principal is saying that the coach cares for every player individually.

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