Translation:Do you have pets?
Cars would be あります.
I would say that anything considered to have a "life" of its own, psychologically, not literally, would be います. Robots (looks like a live being with a mind of its own)and zombies would be います. Think about this language being created thousands of years ago (which it was) and how they saw things as being "animate" or "inanimate."
います - animate things
あります - inanimate things
It's very important to differentiate these two. They both mean "to exist" but they are different words, not interchangeable.
The example sentence literally translates to, "Does a pet exist?" People use context to determine exactly how this phrase is being used. It could mean, "Is there a pet?" or, "Do you have a pet?"
A slight clarification (as I understand it). For living things that are self moving (people, dogs, cats, birds, etc.) it is います. For objects (as you say) like cars and houses and tables, it is あります. The tricky part is that things that are not considered to have a mind and can move themselves (for example, grass and trees) they still use あります.
Druids are free to disagree, but that is what I understand the rule to be.
The way I was taught is "wa" can be roughly translated to "as for this...", and "ga" becomes "this is the thing...."
So for example "yasai wa tabemasu" becomes "As for vegetables, I eat them", or "I eat vegetables".
"yasai ga tabemasu" becomes, "Vegetables is the thing I eat", or "I only eat vegetables."
Similar to English "a" vs "the", but not quite.
"heya wa doko desu ka" -> "as for rooms, where are they?" -> "where is a room?"
"heya ga doko desu ka" -> "this is the room, where is it?" -> "where is the room?"
That's not bad, although I can see some specific problems in certain sentences (eg yasai ga suki desu ["As for vegetables, I like them" or "Vegetables are the things I like" seem doable but it always seems to be 'ga'] ). At least it is better than the awful marker/subject distinction, more commonly used.
Just remember this.
は marks the main TOPIC of the sentence. が marks a subject. The topic of a sentence can be anything. You can have BOTH は and が in one sentence. Usually when が is used, it means that subject is doing something.
For example: 田中さんが水を飲みました。 Tanaka san ga mizu wo nomimashita.
Tanaka is STILL a subject, as he is marked be が. 水 (water) is an object that Tanaka is acting on, as we see it is marked by を. You can still use は here if you wanted to make Tanaka more than a subject, but a topic. But look at this next example.
私は田中さんが水を飲むことを見ました。 Watashi ha ((Tanaka san ga mizu wo nomu koto)) wo mimashita.
こと (thing) makes the phrase before it a noun. So it would translate as, "the thing of Tanaka drinking water." It follows root verbs. 見ました means "I saw"
In this case, I am the topic of the sentence, but Tanaka is still A subject of the sentence. I am saying that I saw Tanaka drink water. There are TWO subjects and TWO verbs, so there are TWO sentences. But one is part of an outer sentence and the other is part of an inner sentence. In this case, the lesser sentence subject takes が and the main sentence subject takes は.
In Duolingo's example, the pet was the subject AND topic of the sentence. This puts more emphasis on the pets. You can also say, "あなたはペットがいますか？" which would make あなた (you) the topic of the sentence, therefore, putting emphasis on (you) and not the pets.
Grammar rule: Before いる and ある, always use は or が. Never use を. It does not make sense. In the sentence, "ペットがいますか" the pet is doing the action of existing, not you. The nouns doing actions are always marked by は and が because を marks nouns that are being acted upon. In the case of the verbs いる and ある (to exist), you can't "exist" something. Something simply exists on its own. Therefore, "ペットをいますか" would not work. The pet exists. The apple exists. "リンゴがあります." We do not "exist" the apple. We do not "exist" the pet.
Thanks for staying tuned... hope I helped...
If you were asking someone if they had any cups (or any inanimate object) you would use あります. But since animals are living creatures you would use います if you were asking someone if they had pets, a specific animal, siblings - any living creature/human then you would use います and in that instance it would be translated as have. I was trying to think of a situation where you might ask this question and it could mean "Are there any pets?" but I can't think of any. Even if you were asking say if the school you were thinking about sending your child to had any pets you would still say - does the school have any pets. So - yes, います and あります can mean to be or to exist but they can also mean have when asking if someone has/owns a certain object or asking about friends/family/pets etc. So in answer to your question - the first answer - do you have any pets is correct and makes sense.
The correct form of the English verb would be 'are' - so 'are there pets?' is an acceptable answer. Do you have pets is also acceptable. It is not necessary to include 'you' - it is implied. The speaker is talking to someone - asking them a question - hence 'you'. います can mean to exist (there is, are etc) or to have - literally, in this instance, the question would be - do pets exist for you or in other words, in more natural sounding, actually spoken English - do you have pets?
Actually, both あります and います mean "to exist". So, ペットはいますか can mean "do pets exist?", or in more normal English "are there any pets?" But also because of the way Japanese sentence structure works, specifically the separation of the topic and the subject, the implied topic of the conversation could be "you". So you could also translate ペットはいますか as "[for you], do pets exist?", or in more normal English "Do you have any pets?"
Adding to what @PeaceAndWar208 said, the root form of the verb is actually 飼う【かう】and the polite form is 飼います【かいます】.
As @PeaceAndWar208 mentioned, the form I ended up using was the "polite present progressive" form. To make the polite present progressive form, we have to follow the structure: て-form + います. (This is a fair bit more advanced than Duo requires of you at this point in the course, btw.) The て-form of 飼う is 飼って【かって】(if you want to know why, I recommend Googling "Japanese verb conjugation" because there's already a lot of god material out there, and it's quite a lengthy topic.) So that's where the って comes from.
As for why 「ペットは飼いますか」 doesn't work, let's take a closer look at "Do you own any pets?" On the face of it, it's very similar to "Do you eat fish?" or "Do you drink tea?" But if you think of the latter two as following the structure: "In general, do you do the thing?" where the thing is an isolated incident. This is what the Japanese present tense refers to (in general, doing an isolated instance of the thing). "Do you own any pets?" is slightly different; the structure would be "Does your current state of being include doing the thing?" which is why the Japanese present progressive tense is appropriate.
That is the present progressive form. Like -ing in English but it has different uses. These are the usages I'm familiar with: 1. If there is a state of being (having a dog) that will remain in the relative near future Ex.: The chair is broken. 椅子は壊れてあります。(Note: it might be ~います, so I'm not sure)
- If the current action is a (relatively) long, progressive one (hence the name "present progressive")
Ex.: I'm having lunch right now. 今は昼食を食べています。
I'm just like you. If you read the others messages, they argue that "Is there any pets" is not natural in english, "Do you have a pet" would be an equivalent translation for "ペットはいますか?". If you want to tell "Do you own a pet" JoshuaLore9 said there is a specific verb : 飼います (kaimasu). I accept all those answers, i'm a beginner ;) an japenese seems to allow many translations sometimes.