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Русский Язык
How to say… Is it possible?

Можно…? Equally translatable as: Can I? Can you? Would it be ok if..? Without doubt the most useful word in Russian. If you point at something and ask ‘можно?’ you’ll probably get it. And if you want to be a little more precise:

To ask someone to do something for you:

Можно показать? (nice and easy, the verb after можно is always in the infinitive) Сan you show me?
Можно подсказать? Can you tell me?
Можно взвесить? Can you weigh this?
Можно мне перезвонить попозже? Can you phone me back later?

To find out if you can do something:

Можно примерить? Can I try this on?
Можно здесь курить? Is it possible to smoke here?
Можно туда дойти пешком? Is it possible to walk there?
Можно посмотреть поближе? Can I have a closer look?
And the simple answer: ‘Да, можно!’
Unless you are refused: ‘Нет, нельзя!’

To acquire something:

Можно, пожалуйста, полкило? Can I have half a kilo?
Можно, пожалуйста, тот зелёный? Can I have that green one?

To ask to speak to someone on the phone:

Можно Елену к телефону? (accusative ending: feminine names will end -y)
Можно Ивана к телефону? (masculine names add –a)

Some generally useful phrases:

Можно на секунду? Can I use/have/borrow that a moment?
Можно на время? Can I borrow that for a while?
Можно сейчас? Can I do it now?
Можно потом? Can I do it later?

And one of the first we all learn:

Можно, пожалуйста, счёт? Can I have the bill?

Previous phrases on

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