4

"The students always help each other with the homework."

How to translate the part "help each other"? I can think of two ways.

Les élèves s'aident toujours avec les devoirs.

and

Les élèves aident toujours l'un l'autre avec les devoirs.

Would both of them work? If so, what are the differences?

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    When there are more than two people, say "les uns les autres" instead of "l'un l'autre", and use "s'aident" instead of "aident". When people help each other, it's like the group helps itself, which needs a "se <verb>" in French. (like se laver, se protéger, etc.) – Teleporting Goat Oct 11 '16 at 8:23
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As you mention, "l'un l'autre" is fine ; it actually is the first I thought of when reading the question. The verb remains in its pronominal form ("s'aident"), though :

Les élèves s'aident toujours l'un l'autre avec leurs devoirs.
The students to-one-another-help always each other with their homework.
(~ translating word by word)

The other way you mention doesn't really work in my opinion, in the sense that you don't translate explicitely "each other", so it ends up sounding like a general truth:

Les élèves s'aident toujours avec les devoirs.
Students always help one another with the homework.

I can thing of yet another way to translate "each other" : mutuellement.

The students always help each other with the homework.
Les élèves s'aident toujours mutuellement pour leurs devoirs.

Also, entre eux (litteraly : "among themselves") translates "each other", ans is used exactly the same as "mutuellement". I'd say this would be the most common way of translating your sentence.

The students always help each other with the homework.
Les élèves s'aident toujours entre eux pour leurs devoirs.

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    We would actually use les uns les autres unless there are only two students. – Gilles Oct 11 '16 at 7:28
11

French has a dedicated verb for that : s'entraider.

Les élèves s'entraident toujours pour faire leurs devoirs.

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    Thanks! I'm still curious whether either of my suggestions work, though. I'm interested in how to translate "each other" (and not necessarily with the verb "help") – user11550 Oct 11 '16 at 5:37
  • @user11550 for you second question, you may use "entre"+verb with many verbs, if the meaning is "do something for the other". I can't see many examples where it works, but I think it's the same problem with "each other" which can't be used for every verbs... – Random Oct 11 '16 at 12:33
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I would say

Les élèves s'aident toujours les uns les autres pour leurs devoirs

but not

l'un l'autre

Note that "entre eux" or "mutuellement" is OK as well.

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