If I were to ask:

Which children did you bring?

and you respond:

I brought both Adam and Billy.

The "both" implies not only that you brought two children, but that you brought your only two children (that the whole set was brought).

If, however, you had more than two children, neither:

I brought Adam, Billy, and Charlotte.


I brought all of Adam, Billy, and Charlotte.

would have the same connotation that you brought all your children. The first gives no idea how many children there are total, and the second sounds more like you brought "all of" each individual item. Is there a word that has extends the meaning of "both" to more than two?

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    Hello and welcome, donnyton. I would like to ask a clarifying question: In what real-world context does I brought both Adam and Billy necessarily imply that the speaker has only these 2 children? – Arm the good guys in America Aug 22 '18 at 23:28
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    I agree with what @Knotell is suggesting. Saying "both" in that sentence can imply that Adam and Billy are your only children but not necessarily. It would depend on context. – Billy Aug 23 '18 at 0:57
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    I have a son and two daughters: Adam, Charlotte, and Dot. We had planned to go to the zoo yesterday. Charlotte and Dot weren't feeling well, so Adam asked if his best friend is Billy could come instead. I brought both Adam and Billy. The word "both" does not imply that I have two kids. – Ian MacDonald Nov 21 '18 at 15:10

I can think of no single word in the sense you mean, but I believe a slight rephrasing of your last sentence would serve the purpose:

I brought them all: Adam, Billy, and Charlotte.

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  • Simple and to the point. I don't get some of these questions....It ain't just children either. – Lambie Apr 15 at 17:21

The phrase "all of" in the sentence listing three children wouldn't parallel the meaning "both" has in the sentence listing two children but would tend to intimate that Adam, Billy, and Charlotte constitute a paltry amount of children to bring.

There is no word that can be used exactly like "both" but for more than two. You would instead have to say something like:

I brought Adam, Bill, and Charlotte, all three.

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