"Jaki" asks for an adjective. To ask for an adjective in English, you usually use "what" at the start and "like" at the end.
His parents are <nice>. → What are his parents like?
"Jacy" is masculine personal nominative plural form of "jaki", formed according to the rules of adjective declension.
Only if it wasn't about people. Asking “How is the film?” is the same as asking “What is the film like?”, and I imagine both would translate to „Jak jest film?”.
But since the sentence is about people, “How are his parents?” means asking about how their life is going or how they are feeling lately, the same as “How are his parents doing?” or “How are his parents feeling?”
That said, “How are his parents?” could mean asking what they're like, if the surrounding context made that clear. So it's not ungrammatical, just unable to have that meaning when standing on its own.
That is a redundant phrase in English. You would ask: How is something? or, what is something like? Those are your options in English
"How are his parents?"--What you said is wrong. Its not colloquially common, but it can have the exact same meaning no context is necessary. It has nothing to do with standing on its own. There's no rule in English as to what you just described
My problem is and always will be not being able to recognize "nominative" "accusative" "genitive" etc. Show me the logic of nominative in this sentence?
They are the subject. You may not see it at first, but imagine the answer: "Jego rodzice są wysocy" (His parents are tall).
I was very confused by this one and the highlighted words didn't imply it means " like"
Well, there's nothing here to match "like" but this is just how the English construction looks... like.
Well, that is what I meant. I guess it isn't clear because of how confusing it can be to explain that word.
*"how the English construction looks" or "what the English construction looks like"
After reading all the comments, I remain unclear. Is this sentence, in Polish, used to ask "what are his parents like?" ... (are they nice, mean, etc.) or is sentence, in Polish, used to ask "how are his parents doing/feeling"...are they well, ill, happy, sad. Or, is it interchangeable and can be used, either way? If the latter is the case, if I am asked the question, how do I discern what the person is asking ... what are they like vs how are they doing/feeling?
The a bit colloquial construction of "How are his parents" would be "Jak się mają/miewają jego rodzice", "how are they feeling" would be "jak się czują".
It is clear now. Part of the problem for me is that it is an odd question. I do not remember ever asking what are someone's parents like. Thank you for the replies.
how would one ask 'What are his parents' as in 'what do they work at'?
Just saw the previous reply about this. However, depending on context, this phrase can also mean "what are his parents like".
Wouldn't be better to translate it as "What kind of parents does he have?" At least for understanding purposes (in this comment section) to not confuse "to like". Though, yes, the more common colloquial question in english is "What are his parents like?" I am guessing the problem here is that english speakers are forgetting that we use the word "like" for describing in metaphors.
I know "how are his parents" is wrong, but how about " how are his parents like"?