"Do you have a family?"


July 8, 2017



Why is the は required here?

July 8, 2017


I learned that the particle は marks the topic of the phrase and can be literally translated as: "about..." So this sentence will be: About family, do (you) have? You are implied here

January 9, 2018


は must be attached to the topic of a sentence. As in this case the subject is "family", は is required right after it.

March 7, 2018


No it musn't. While it is preferred to do so when you want specifically change to topic, you don't have to attach it.

「かぞくいますか」is also grammatically correct.

July 10, 2018


The "は" here is the subject particle . So its role is to define the subject of the sentence in other words "what we are talking about" but you have to be careful when you are using it and don't be confused with the "が particle .

April 14, 2018


it's something similar to an article 'a' that assigns a role to something in the sentence

October 15, 2017


Shouldn't it be kazoku ga imasu

August 9, 2017


I agree! I think the family is not the subject of this sentence, "you" is the (implicit) subject. So shouldn't it be 「かぞくがいますか?」?

November 4, 2017


Actually, if you wrote かぞくがいますか?you would make the family, rather than any implicit "you", the subject of the sentence. That is what が does, mark the (non-topic) subject. So かぞくがいますか would mean "Is there a family?", while the topicalized かぞくはいますか would be more akin to "Does the family exist?", with an implied reference to the listener turning "the family" into "your family" and thus "Do you have a family?". (Or at least I think so -- there could well be deeper levels to this.)

December 11, 2017


Actually actually, I have now tested and かぞくがいますか is accepted as well. So both work, but they have to choose one as the "main" translation to put at the top of the page. The first part of my answer above, about が marking the subject, is still valid, however.

December 11, 2017


I agree that the sentence, as is, would mean "Is there a family" since は implies that family is the subject rather than the object. However, it could simply have idiomatic meaning in that "Is there a family?" in Japanese actually means "Do you have any family members?" Idiomaticity is a rather common phenomenon in the Japanese language, so I would not be surprised if this were the case here.

November 27, 2017


I think that might be rude because the が particle marks objects. People aren't objects.

August 20, 2017


that's wrong... the "object" of a verb may as well be a person

September 4, 2017


No, が marks the subject of the sentence (unless it is also topic, in which case は is used). The object of the sentence -- which can be a person, as Dehpuh1 points out -- is marked by を.

December 11, 2017


Minor correction: を marks only the direct object of a sentence. Indirect objects would instead use に.

December 15, 2017


is it impolite to use かおくinstead of ごかぞくor is it the latter just being extra polite?

October 5, 2017


I too learned to use ごかぞくfor other people's families and かぞく when referring to your own. I'm curious about this as well.

May 1, 2018


My Japanese tutor said it should be ごかぞく when speaking of someone else's family. Are there regional/social differences in this?

June 2, 2018


Is anyone else wondering why they aren't using ご家族?For such a delicate question, it sounds pretty strange just to say 家族。

August 18, 2018


If you wrote it out in full could you say あなたは家族(かぞく)います Or would you need to add the は again amd make it あなたは家族はいます

June 10, 2018


Is it perhaps that the full polite sentance would be "あなたのかぞくはいますか"?

December 1, 2017


I think it's because in this context, the questioner asks the questionee, "kazoku wa imasu ka?" So it'd be the same as "hey, do you have a family?" That's how it intuitively came to me.

If it's "kazoku ga imasu ka?" The questionee addresses a wider audience or no audience and then asks "hey, does a family exist?"

December 23, 2017


for me, using は reads more like "Is there a family?" and using が reads as "Do you have a family?" I think both make sense technically, but using が seems to give more clarity as to what exactly the speaker is referring to (at least for me)

January 18, 2018


I wrote anata wa kazoku i masuka. Why is that wrong?

November 5, 2017


I think your sentence means something closer to "Are you a family?" To say "your family" it would be "anata no kazoku", which you would then mark as the subject with ha, giving you "anata no kazoku ha imasu ka?" This answer might work! I'll try it if I can!

January 3, 2018


it should be が instead of は in this case seeing as a question is being asked and not a statement being made

January 13, 2018


Not necessarily. I think you'd need to use は to mark a different subject; if the conversation was about everyone else's families, then you wouldn't need any topic marker. I might be wrong though.

April 25, 2019


If someone could explain to me when we use De su and I ma su i would be forever grateful

March 21, 2019


Desu is "it is" (I think) whereas imasu is something like "have". I might be wrong though.

April 25, 2019


Why is い necessary? Couldn't I say only: かぞくはますか ?

September 18, 2017


Because it isn't ます it is the verb いる which means to exist. かぞくはいますか -> Is there is a family.

October 3, 2017


Since いる is a る verb it conjugates into the polite form of います. The inanimate equivalent is ある/あります.

October 3, 2017
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