Могу ли я попробовать, прежде чем купить его?

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Senior Member
Japanese 標準語
Алло. I don't speak Russian at all. Could you tell me if my understanding is correct?

"Can I taste it before I buy it?" = "Могу ли я попробовать, прежде чем купить его??"

I want to buy some food such as dried fruits and nuts and honey at a farmer's market where local customers and tourists go.
People can taste food before buying it but I just want to know the phrase to ask, just to be polite.

If you could make my sentences better, I'd really appreciate it.

Большое спасибо.
  • Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    People would understand you if you said that, but it is not the most natural way to say it. There are in fact many ways to say this, but if it were me, I would say "Можно попробовать до того, как я куплю?"


    Your phrase is absolutely correct if you are going to buy something having male (or neuter) gender and singular in Russian (e.g. honey - мёд).
    In other cases, you'd say "...купить её" (female sing.), "...их" (plural, e.g. nuts - орехи). "...купить это" is a universal variant.

    Also, you may just ask:

    "Можно попробовать?"


    Your variant is very well, I'd even say it is too well in this context, and therefore sounds out of (market) style. "Могу ли я" and "прежде" are more peculiar to the bookish style. Besides, your addition "before I buy it" looks superfluous in this situation.
    You may just ask: Можно попробовать? Or (less polite): Попробовать можно?
    You may soften your request by putting "А" in the beginning: А попробовать можно?
    Hi kyotan,

    As for me, the "before I buy it" thing will be "odd" in RU and can be omitted with no issue.
    If you want your phrase to sound natural, I'd suggest you saying Можно сначала попробовать? // Можно я сначала попробую? or just А попробовать можно?
    Anyone will understand you want to taste it first, before buying, cause if you have already bought something, you won't have to ask anyone for a permission to taste your own food :)


    P.S. Sorry, I've just noticed I've somewhat cross-posted Maroseika.


    I would simply say "Можно попробовать?" without adding "before I buy it", cause it's obvious that you taste it in order to see whether it's worth buying or not. "Могу ли я попробовать?" is also fine, but a little bit too polite for this sort of situation.
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