"Do you have a family?"
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
は must be attached to the topic of a sentence. As in this case the subject is "family", は is required right after it.
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.
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 .
it's something similar to an article 'a' that assigns a role to something in the sentence
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？」?
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.)
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.
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.
I think that might be rude because the が particle marks objects. People aren't objects.
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.
Minor correction: を marks only the direct object of a sentence. Indirect objects would instead use に.
is it impolite to use かおくinstead of ごかぞくor is it the latter just being extra polite?
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。
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
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?"
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)
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!
it should be が instead of は in this case seeing as a question is being asked and not a statement being made
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.
If someone could explain to me when we use De su and I ma su i would be forever grateful
Desu is "it is" (I think) whereas imasu is something like "have". I might be wrong though.
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.