"Where is your father?"
Summary: ですdescribes a unidirectional equality, while います describes non-directional animation
When です (or だ) functions as a copula (like in your question), it acts as a unidirectional equality. A statement like "XはYです" means something like "X=Y", but only moving from X to Y. An example in English would be something like "Birds are animals", but not "Animals are birds." This is similar to saying "2+2=4", but not saying "4=2+2". This does not necessarily mean that "Y=X" is false, but rather that that "Y=X" is not inferable from "X=Y" in this case.
This may be a result of です probably being a derivative of “であります”, which is derived from “である”. In a sentence like “私は猫である” (I am a cat), である functions to first mark “猫” (cat) with the particle で and then describe “私” (I) as inanimately existing by the means of being a cat. Note that this does not mean that “I” am inanimate, but rather that the quality of me existing by means of being a cat is not something which autonomously changes.
います is derived from いる, which is a verb denoting animate/autonomously-changing existence. いる can be used with any noun to describe it as animate (changing). So, you could say "Xはいる", where X=a deer, a bacterium, a human, or theoretically, even a tree, if you viewed the tree as something in a constantly self-directedly-changing state. Note that いる only denotes that a noun exists and is animate, but it does not inherently mark any location for its existence. Nor does “Xはいる” denote that “X” will eventually become anything other than “X”, but rather that “X” will become an altered version of “X” (i.e. changing position)
に marks the end-point of a verb. A statement like “私は猫にです” does not require the に because the equality is unidirectional. In other words, this statement can only mean “私=猫” when read from left to right (or top to bottom in 縦書き). Meanwhile, いる has no directionality and only functions to describe the animation of the noun. Therefore, an end-point must be marked if giving the location of the noun is desired. In this sentence, に marks the end-point of “あなたのお父さん”’s animate existence at “どこ”, an unknown place.
Yes and if you want to think of it as an English sentence, think passively. "You father, where is he?" "The park, how far is it?" Instead of active voice: "Where is your father?", "How far is the park?" That might help you translate in your head a little bit faster when going from an English sentence to a Japanese one.
お父さんはどこですか is another way of saying it. I think it is a less polite way.
います indicates the existence of a living 'thing'. A way too literal translation of あなたのお父さんはどこにいますか would be "where does your father exist?", but a more proper translation would be "where would your father be?".
In English the sentence "where would your father be" is a bit ambiguous when it comes to the timeframe. "where would your father be right now" would be a better translation, but this would insert words which aren't in the Japanese sentence.
Therefore "where is your father" is the best translation. It's not the most literal translation nor does it match the level of politeness, but it's the sentence we'd use in English in the same situation.
if you see the context, also if you see it in english (where is father? (idk why but i aways see a man talking to a child on this situation lol)), at least in japanese, people predict you are talking about THEIR father. i'm not a native, so i can be wrong, so if you think i'm wrong pls correct me.
I really struggling to understand the difference of usage between "です" and "います". I learnt that "います" was for living things so I used it to answer this question and was told it was wrong.
Just for the record this was my answer. Maybe I did something else wrong? あなたのお父さんはどこいますか
Imasu/arimasu seem to be used to indicate the presence of something that is, whereas desu is concerning the quality of something that is.
There are/not animate things = imasu/sen There are/not inanimate things = arimasu/sen The things are/not X quality = desu/janai (dewanai)
In this case, think of 'where' like the quality of here or there being questioned. It's not asking if your father is present or not, it's asking where he is. Consider the difference between asking if he has hair on his head vs what color is his hair. In English, you use is for both answers but the sense of being is referring to a noun in one and adjective in the other.
This may not be the most accurate understanding and is open to critique.
に is needed to mark the place of existence with います
どこにいますか (At what place)(exists)
It isn't necessary with です since the copula is used for describing a state, equating the two nouns "Your father" with "what place" here. "Father = where" rather than asking about a location of existence "At what place does he exist?"
What location your father is rather than what location your father exists at
Both mean the same thing and should be acceptable here, they're just different ways of saying it
The vast majority of sentences on here do not use あなたの, but just because it is optional doesn't mean it shouldn't be taught at all. If it doesn't accept it without it you should report it with "my answer should be accepted". Complaining in the discussion comments will not fix anything.
It's a good topic for discussion. Some people, maybe many, might not know that "you" is often ellipted in Japanese. In fact, its overuse is a dead give away to Japanese that the speaker/writer is likely foreign. Moreover discussion can bring out the importance of context in determining word choices and their meanings.
Honorifics make the word more polite and show respect toward the other person
お父さん・おとうさん - Your father (or addressing your own father directly)
お母さん・おかあさん - Your mother (or addressing your own mother directly)
You would omit the honorifics when talking about your own family to be humble
父・ちち - My father
母・はは - My mother