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I am using duolingo as a resource for learning Russian. One of the exercises was to translate the following into English:

Дайте мне, пожалуйста, хлеб.

I translated it roughly as Give me please bread which is easy to infer the meaning, but seems a bit backward. Is the following amendment valid?

Дайте мне хлеб, пожалуйста.

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The word order in the original expression is the most natural, neutral. The version you suggest is also correct, but it leaves a slight feeling that the idea to make the sentence sounding more polite came to the speaker's mind at the latest moment. Why is it so in Russian? Probably, one tends to put пожалуйста (please) possibly closer to the already used imperative - to immediately compensate for its otherwise demanding sense. So it sounds a bit more polite than the version with пожалуйста postponed until the end of the sentence. The form хлеба (some bread) is better unless one means a specific piece of it (typically, before their eyes).

Дайте мне, пожалуйста, хлеба. (Give me some bread, please.)

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It’s nothing more than cadence of speech. There aren’t rules as to where to stammer “um” in a sentence, right?

At a grocery store, all of the following would be perfectly natural, and none would be considered more polite than the other:

— Дайте мне, пожалуйста, хлеба.
— Мне хлеба, пожалуйста, и сы́ра.
— Пожалуйста, хлеба и сыра.
— Хлеба, пожалуйста.

And a dozen other variations.

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