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I wanted to walk into a russian grocery store (there is one in my neighborhood) and ask if they sell квас.

What is a good approach when walking into a small store and asking for something?

Would: Добрый день or Здравствуйте be more suitable?

Followed by: Скажите пожалуйста, Вы продаете квас?

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Would: Добрый день or Здравствуйте be more suitable?

Well, both OK, except sometimes people may also omit any greeting, as this is not a true "personal" communication.

Followed by: Скажите пожалуйста, Вы продаете квас?

Better to say: Скажите, пожалуйста, у вас есть квас?

Note that you may omit "Скажите, пожалуйста" too, yet in any case you should keep at least one "polite" phrase per speech, e.g.: "Добрый день! У вас есть квас?" is OK, but the sole "У вас есть квас?" may sound impolite.

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  • Do you normally drink квас cold (chilled) or as is? – Дженни Nov 1 '15 at 10:41
  • @Дженни They say квас is a sort of beer. Do you know anyone who prefer the warm beer? :-) Maybe only in "окрошка" it would do. Otherwise chilled one, yet don't get a cold. And homemade квас is far much better than any industrial stuff. – Matt Nov 1 '15 at 10:50
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Здравствуйте is a time independent greeting, while Добрый день literally means "good day", and fit more for daylight time. Also, you can say just "здрАсти".

Asking about some goods the easiest way is to say "У вас есть...?", meaning "Do you have... ?"

Example dialogue:

  • Здрасти! У вас есть квас?
  • Конечно, сколько вам кваса?
  • Два литра, пожалуйста.
  • С вас 100 рублей.

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