"Where is your father?"
I think it's more polite to add the か, but it's pretty clear that this is a question because どこ is used.
It means "your," coming from "anata" (you) and "no" ('s).
Of course, second person pronouns are used far less than in languages like English or even Brazilian Portuguese.
Japanese grammar and English grammar are quite different. は indicates the subject of the sentence and in most cases, the subject comes first. You can think of it like this if it helps.
あなたのお父さん = your father
は = is
どこですか = where?
The order of Japanese is much different than English.
The correct order is: "you (possessive) father (topic) where is [question]"
You have to put "どこ" between your subject (all that comes before "は") and your verb (in this case "です")
So, does Japanese require the use of か for any question, even when there's a question word in the sentence?
Chichi seems to be more informal. You can omit the o from tousan or kaasan to be less formal as well, but as far as I can tell it's like the difference between Father, Dad, or Pa. Can anyone confirm how polite/impolite these are?
Could this not be read as "Where are my mother and father?" What indicates possession?
It's context dependant. Imagine you're asking your brother - it makes sense. If youre asking a stranger about your parents, you'd include possession to yourself (boku no). The last case is asking a stranger about his parents, which is the default here.
There's no "mother" mentioned in the sentence. But you are correct that this could theoretically refer to one's own father (though unlikely), depending on the context, or to a third party's father.
It is ok to not use onata no. But what if i want to ask "where is my mom"
you can use watashi no okasan, but depending on the context you can always omit the watashi no part
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.
Basically, when you ask where something/someone is you use desu. But in the answer you would use imasu. Okasan wa doko desu ka? Kanojo wa kaisha ni imasu.