"Are there ducks in the park?"
Translation:Czy w parku są kaczki?
As far as I'm aware of, sentence order is not very strict in the Polish language (because it can be understood by the noun conjugations who is doing what [subject] and who is receiving the action [object], etc.). Yet, there does still seem to be some necessity in the placement of words. For instance this sentence. I wrote "Czy sa kaczki w parku?" and was marked as incorrect. Is there anyone out there who could (once and for all) help explain to me why my answer is wrong and what the general rules of sentence order are (please)?
I really think this one's more than "a little bit" unusual, although it's hard to pinpoint the exact rule. At least it sounds as if you expected the ducks to be there and you're making sure if that's true.
What you definitely could do though, is to ask "Czy kaczki są w parku?", which would be a question about ducks, and whether or not they're in the park. But that would be "Are the ducks in the park?", then.
"At least it sounds as if you expected the ducks to be there and you're making sure if that's true." That is correct, but the english sentence is just the same!?
Your sentence is also correct. It sounds a little bit unusual, but it is correct. As far as I know "General rules of sentence order" are: "Everything is allowed but some combinations are usually more preferred than the others by native speakers".
At the same time if you remove "czy" from your sentence and just leave "są kaczki w parku?" this would be how most people would say it in a casual talk ("czy" is often omitted in this case).
No. "there are" simply equals "są", also in questions.
"nie ma" is used for "there are not".
Your sentence is: "Does X have ducks in the park?" with X being the unknown without a context 3rd person singular subject.
How would you differentiate between: "Are THE ducks in the park? " and "Are THERE ducks in the park?"?
It can be the same sentence, but you can specify them the following way:
Treat "the" as "these" in the first sentence, and ask "Czy te kaczki są w parku?"
Add "any" to the second one and ask "Czy w parku są jakieś kaczki?"
Having given it a second thought, I guess you can just treat "Czy w parku są kaczki?" as the second sentence and "Czy kaczki są w parku?" as the first one ;)