"Does this river have a bridge?"
I'm not sure of this sentence structure and its literal English translation. Could someone please explain _ に _ はあります. Is the は particle interchangeable with が here?
Okay, so the literal English translation is more like "Is there a bridge at this river?" So この川に is "at this river" and はしはありますか is "is there a bridge." The に particle indicates placement, and the は particle is more like a subject marker.
The は and が thing is tricky. It really depends on the situation. Here, it is best to use は。
I don't know if this works colloquially, but following the normal rules, you need to put a particle on "hashi" to note how it fits into the sentence. In your case, that particle could be "ga", marking "hashi" as the subject.
I would answer this too if i could pick が. I don't get why は is prefered here.
I believe it is, because of the nature of the question, doubt is expressed as to whether or not a bridge actually exists. It seems that が is used when it is certain that something exists whereas は when it either does not or may not exist.
Isn't the English translation "Is there a bridge on the river?" That sounds more natural to me and fits the Japanese construction better. Sometimes it feels like Duo is being purposefully obtuse.
Saying there's a bridge on the river is fine though I think it's a bit archaic and probably regional.