"What do you think, is there a school here?"
Translation:Как думаете, здесь есть школа?
I meant formality as in "casual speech vs. legal contract". Как думаешь/думаете is definitely quite casual. With a pronoun it is neutral.
Politeness is more about treating socially "superiour" with a little more respect, using more indirect requests,and doing so for people you do not know, too, just to be on the safe side. This "standard minimum of respect" takes conventional forms, so native speakers usually do it without thinking too much.
So you can still talk to a professor twice your age in a polite way even if you choose a fairly casual style ("I have a question"), rather than a formal/bookish one ("Recently, I have become aware I seem to lack understanding of a few points of a certain subject previously covered in your classes, professor")
English speakers familiar with older language like the King James Bible should think of вот as being similar to "lo," or "behold." "Вот" is how these expressions are translated in the Russian Bible, and I think it is easier to understand that way. For example, John 1:36b, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" "Вот Агнец Божий." Note this is not translated into English as "Here is the Lamb of God," and although that might not be a terrible translation, it seems to lack the emphasis. Some newer versions say, "Look, the Lamb of God."
"Школа здесь" would be an answer to "Где школа?" In this case, the school is known and the unknown part is it's location.
"Здесь есть школа" would be an answer to "Что здесь?" We know about the place but we want to know what exists there.
It's a subtle difference but it comes down to what information is already known.
Me neither, l know there's obviously no use of "to eat" here, but previously untill this point I was dealing with whatever Russian verb conjugation I encounter (usually with memrise) as a special form to be only memorised without knowing any specific rule.
For example, with sentences like ((я ем)), ((Он ест)), ((Они едят)), & есть was introduced before as to eat .. this is what made me confused.
Thanks a lot Mr. Shady, After some searching I've come to understand that здесь (in this sentence) is considered a proverb describing the sentence ((есть школа)), школа is the subject and есть is its proper "быть imperfective" form, and ((здесь есть школа)) is considered a simple independent sentence.
Although I'm not totally sure of this conclusion, that's because considering ((есть школа)) as a sentence comes simply from a similar Arabic validity to place the verb before the subject and vice versa without making any change to the meaning, e.g. ((توجد المدرسة)) -this sentence is a word to word translation for ((есть школа))- compared to ((المدرسة توجد)) -which is literally translated to ((школа есть))-. And also that's because I'm not a big fan of word to word translation.
The phrase is really "как вы думаете" so "думаете" refers to the second-person plural "вы". (Yes technically in formal speech when you use вы you're referring to someone in plural like "you all" rather than singular. That's how it works.) If it was an informal exchange you'd say "как ты думаешь". If you used "думает" you'd be referring to a third-person singular like "он" or "она". For third person plural (они) it's "думают". It's not as simple as just "plural or singular" unfortunately.
This is a question that’s been asked several times with upvotes but gone unanswered, so I’ll give it one more try:
Как думаете, школа есть здесь?
Notionally, I get that “Is there, here, the school?” and “Is there the school here” could be two different things in English—you’re talking about a particular school, which is somewhere, so the question of whether it is here, and the question whether here is where it happens to be, could be thought of as two different questions. (Although, in colloquial English, we’d usually word these much differently: “Is the school here?” vs. “Is this where the school is?”) Since Russian lacks determiners (a/an/the), perhaps that’s the issue.
But there’s basically zero difference between “Is there, here, a school?” and “Is there a school here?” So I wonder whether the Russian reordering is significant — and significant enough such that «Как думаете, школа есть здесь?» should be considered wrong as a translation? I reported it just in case, but I imagine one of the 8+ people who have upvoted earlier versions of this question years ago probably reported theirs too, so... ¯\(ツ)/¯